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April 12, 2018

Who is Massively Sleep Deprived with a Fresh Haircut

If you guessed me you are totally and completely correct.  This week is normally hectic for me because I take students to a different state for a conference.  That means 50 million store runs and stockpiling food for mom so that she doesn't have to cook for the count em THREE WHOLE DAYS I'm not there.  This week to add insult to injury mom gets freakishly sick the night before I need to leave.  So sick that during the wee hours of the day I need to leave we end up at the ER.  As ERs go they worked super fast.  From admission time to keeping her three hours passed.  The problem is those three hours led me into work time.  I had to shower, go back to the hospital, go to work and then decide about taking 11 students on a trip that no one else is prepped for except me.  After consulting with the doctors and seeing her in the morning I decided to go for it and at the worst I would crash when we got to the hotel.  As usual, there was some confusion upon getting to the hotel but we got settled in, went out for dinner and then I eventually crashed 20 hours after I was woken up to start my adventurous day. 

Before the great medical caper occurred I looked to see if there was a natural hair shop near the hotel because I was in desperate need of a trim.  Like my hair was healthy and felt good but the ends were like ma'am please quit playing.  It's been at least a year since I had a trim because my hair has mostly been in twists.  And when I was ready to stop twisting for a bit I looked up and my stylist has left the shop.  This matters cause I live in an area where there is very little option of getting my hair done in town by someone who actually understands African American hair.  If you remember that's part of why I quit relaxing it several years ago now because there was no one around that could be relied on after people got fed up with their shops and just moved to different shops without notice.  So instead of hacking my own hair off cause I would totally be focused on maintaining length more than health I figured it was time to find a professional.  Not surprisingly because of where our hotel is located but the search I did for natural hair salons near X came up with 20 results.  About five of those results were reasonably walkable from the hotel and two of them seemed to actually focus on textured hair not just be a hair salon using "natural" products.  I went with the one that had the most extensive site, reviews and seemed to be focused on hair health more than just providing a style of choice.  Heck I didn't even want a style I just wanted a trim.  Now due to the exhaustion of yesterday I had no idea if I would even make it to this appointment and was prepared to forgo the deposit if sleep said girl naw sit down.

I was in a good session until it wasn't and then I ran up and dropped off some stuff I knew I wouldn't need and headed out because I can get lost faster walking than I can driving.  It wasn't a huge detour but I made it there super early so I wandered around after making sure I was at the right spot.  Side note, the donuts were disappointing and I'm mad they are in my calorie count for the day.  I needed the hair cut like I thought.  And it was about how much hair I thought needed to go after looking at a few youtube videos, thanks ladies, about looking at the areas where our hair starts to then as an indication of health.  Depending on the area of my blown out fro I lost between and inch to two all over and it looked balanced after she was done so that's good.  She wet my hair again and then added a little bit of product to what I thought was scrunch it but it was more of a defining of my curls and put me under the dryer for maybe 15 minutes.  Let's just say I was surprised my hair was behaving and felt full and healthy with no weird knots at the end where it was tangling on itself.  Yeah for hydration, steamers and a good cut.  No photo cause I'm hella tired.  Maybe in a few days when I get home. 

Hope all is well.

March 3, 2018

Preemptive fail?

I took my twist down yesterday because I was tired of them and my scalp was super itchy.  But as I'm home alone for a bit there was no need to rush through the process of washing them out and what not.  Instead I lathered in some oils and leave ins so I could do a long term deep condition.  When I do that it loosens up more of the dirt and makes the detangling easier later.  I planned on washing my hair before bed and then doing an overnight deep condition before styling but that didn't happen. I'm home alone because I got up at 2:30 to make sure my mother was ready to get on plane at 6:30 so she could make it to Dallas in time for the family roll out to a funeral in another state.  So we're clear that is AM.  I still had to run to work, have a meeting and eat some food and then take down said twists.  By the time I was done with that and putting in the leave ins I was hanging on by a thread.  At 9PM I gave it up and slept all the way through till the next morning. 

I took my time today and watched more YouTube videos about what to do with my hair.  I was fully prepared to attempt a horse shoe method twist out.  I went through my routine, all was good, and my hair was like ma'am stop it.  I tried it with a few different lengths and thicknesses of flexi-rods but it was still like give up the ghost ma'am.  Now I didn't really have a plan B so I got frustrated and was about to say eff it let it just dry and I'll put in something to make it curly on Monday and we'll rock the fro with my new wraps.  But instead I went back to my old short flex-rods, hard to find them that length anymore which is neither here nor there, and did a normal flexi set using one rod per pull of hair.  I used Curl Manetenance from Aunt Jackie's and Wrap and Roll lotion from Jane Carter Solution and then set my hair.  I rolled it from the root for a change and I can't say it took longer than normal but I was taking my time.  Everything is rolled now and I don't have to take this down for over 24 hours so if it's not dry then my hair is just being evil.  I will try to take a photo when it's all loose and see if we have achieved cute curls or if I really need to learn hot to braid my own hair.

February 24, 2018

How Black Panther Made My Month

This is still going to be a hair post but it will take a random journey to get to me.  So unless you've been sleeping under a rock you know that Black Panther was released.  In FOUR FLIPPING DAYS it made over 400 million worldwide and appears to have picked up another 200 million over the last week.  It's a good movie.  It's a good superhero movie.  There are themes that I'm willing to unpack beginning March 1st but right now I just have to say after living with a shitty president, racism on steroids, white men convinced they are being discriminated against, enablers of all the aforementioned things and folks at work you can't back hand slap but who really really need that let's just say I was tired.  I was so tired that if someone had given me an express pass to what white folks THOUGHT Wakanda was I would have taken it just to be enveloped in blackness for a bit.  I bought my tickets to the movie weeks ahead of time.  I took mom and rocked my Wakanda Panthers gear (thanks inclusiverandomness.com) and then my I'm rooting for everybody black shirt.  It was glorious EACH OF THE THREE TIMES I saw it.  It gave me my mojo back, a new girl crush, someone to inspire my nieces with, and a great idea for a work thing that other folks loved too and boom now we're doing that.

Black beauty and excellence, especially in the post Obama moments, was much needed.  I don't think I was aware how much I needed it but I'll be damned if I didn't.  My petty has made all manner of things possible after Black Panther and I don't think folks will fully understand what this means now or for the future.  We'll see.  Now you're probably still wondering how this connects to hair.  Well every fierce melanin infused woman in the movie was rocking her natural hair.  No one was trying to assimilate into anything other than the follicles coming out of her head.  Some may argue about Shuri wearing braids but hell we do that to protect our natural hair so eff that argument.  Again this movie gave me life when I wasn't sure that's what I was even looking for.  If you haven't seen it go do so please and thank you then on March 1st we can talk.

I'm still deciding what to do with my hair.  This latest twist install has not gone well and the shop owner is making me think its time to figure out how to suffer deal with this ever growing mass of tendrils on my own.  Nope I won't have a stylist on tap but there's got to be a better way to do this without paying an arm and leg to someone who doesn't seem as invested in my scalp as I do.  And there's gotta be a way to work with this level of gray without it making me angry that the styles don't blend as easily as I liked. I'm committing again to figuring out the products and the styles that will make this curly cuteness pop.  First step up is hair wraps.  Let's see how that goes.

For now enjoy your journeys and your tendrils and oh yeah Wakanda Forever!

January 21, 2018

It's Mid January so it's Aussie Time

And nope I don't mean Aussie Moist.  I do love Aussie Moist but right now it's Australian Open tennis time and I've lost some of my favorites but more of my can't stand yas have bounced.  See ya Maria lol.  Beyond that it's been three weeks and I'm down almost 9 pounds total.  I need to get back to the gym regularly again but can I say the weather has been a special kind of hell here lately.  This week it should be good so I'm going to try to push it.  I'm eating well still and I'm loving myfitnesspal because it's giving me a good idea of what I'm eating even if it's low cal it's not always as healthy as it could be.  I'm not doing totally without aid clearly since I'm using my apps but it's good to see what is present there.  I thought about adding Noom but I know how finicky I am and there's literally no point in making another person insane.  Elizabeth was a saint to deal with that as long as she did lol. 

So quick hair update and then I'm going to go back to binging tennis until I go to sleep.  I kept my hair down about a month this time.  I was able to keep it moisturized relatively well and the products I used made it soft as hell (as was noted when I went to get my hair tucked away).  Aunt Jackie's is the business is all I can say.  That plus my DevaCurl has my hair happy and growing.  So I was thinking about leaving it out longer really.  But after three weeks of total hair fails I have recognized a few things.  My hair's default move is to poof.  I tried a few different roller sets and another braid/twist out and like a four of my hair, never in the same location, would be amazingly defined and cute.  The rest was really giving me this expression through follicular anger. 

Part of it was just the style itself but the other issue I'm seeing is because my hair is so gray that unless the style is on point and perfect then it just looks a mess.  My options there are to dye it, not happening, or keep letting it grow out so that the bigger poof is too cute.  I am opting for the latter and then going to try to figure out what to do with my hair when it's out.  My hair is healthy and strong so I enjoy that part.  It's just so tightly coiled that without some direct hot heat the texture never relaxes enough to hold a style outside of poof.  Gotta be a plan out there.  I'll figure it out.

January 15, 2018

Influenster Goodies: Hair Care Herbal Essences biorenew

Hey folks so photos first for a change.  This is a quick post until I use the product.  Influenster sent me a new full size set of biorenew from Herbal Essences.  I haven't sniffed them yet but I was hoping for something that looked less heavy which to me means not a flower scent cause they are usually stronger.  I'll tell you how I like it and about the scent later. 

January 5, 2018

Random Quickie

Back to the gym for the first time.  I'll be going back in the morning since we are finally out of the ridiculous wind chill advisory streak we've been under.  New equipment, building still needs some updates but the biggest thing is my behind has been sticking to a reasonable meal plan.  Three meals and two snacks a day thus far, typically around 1300 calories each day and I've been able to dump all of my favorite recipes into an app to use as part of my meal logging.  It's working with my Fitbit app so when I do workout it gives me this calorie cushion to play with.  I haven't abused that yet, I just ended up with more calories left in my ideal calorie count for the day.  Plus work has started again and that's making me move around more too than the slug I had been over the break.  Biggest news flash.  I weighed in today not expecting much.  I didn't believe the scale so I weighed myself in multiple parts of the house just to make sure the back wasn't somehow being super generous to me.  It wasn't.  HA I've lost 5 pounds.

My hair and I well yeah I tried a new thing cause my twist outs are always fails.  Tried a flexi rod set and all that came from that was really stretched hair.  Maybe I need to use super small flexi rods right now but I didn't have any and remember how I mentioned it's four degrees below hell freezing over here so I wasn't leaving the house with wet hair to go find some.  No curls, no definition, just straight super moisturized hair.  I put a little bit of Aunt Jackie's in my hair and at least the curls came back and looked on point.  Aunt Jackie's and DevaCurl are saving my life right now.  Okay so yeah that's all I got right now.

December 31, 2017

Bring on 2018

Two posts in the same month shut up.  This will happen more often I hope in the new year.  So this is just an end of the year wrap up thing.  I've spent the last few days throwing things away, organizing things, washing things and making plans for a new t-shirt quilt.  That t-shirt quilt planning has opened up a lot of room in my drawers which will help too as I have new t-shirts to replace them with as well as I want to actually get things completely put away after I finish washing them all.  In respect to the myriad of superstitions that surround Southern Black culture after the next load of clothes I'll be on washing hiatus until the 2nd.  We never wash clothes on the 1st of the year.  I think Grandma used to say you don't want to wash away good luck on the first but yeah we just don't do it.  My mother doesn't wash on Sundays but I wasn't in wash mode yesterday so boo we got one or the other.  I'm feeling better about that organizing thing cause really my room was getting a little nuts. 

We're under a wind chill advisory for another two days so not sure the gym will see my cute behind before the 3rd but I am washing new and old clothes for that process.  Found my lock and remember the combination--good looking out random number memory.  Found all of my gym shoes, one pair had been MIA for a minute, and have a bag to pack everything into so I'll be good to go whenever that is at this point.  But this weather is hella disrespectful so I'm glad that I planned well enough to have food ready through the 1st.  Regardless, this year will be on my own again.  I was sad when my trainer announced she was shutting down her online practice but it makes sense.  This isn't away to get rich unless you push more aggressive pricing methods and can attract a continuous client base.  It took me a minute to find her initially and the site that I found her on folded so yeah fitness online is a weird business.  On the other hand I had seen something before I heard from her that seemed intriguing.  I'll tell you more about it if I buy into it fully but give me a month first and we'll see how it goes.  I've done more meal planning as of late just to see if I could.  Honestly, if I cut out the snacking and think like Elizabeth lol this should be the year that Operation Serena Fine stays firmly locked and loaded.  Keep you fingers crossed for me.

OSF may go better with loose curls so I haven't gotten retwisted yet but I may do that just for convenience for a while.  I'm also ready to go get the edges redone about a month in or as needed cause my hair is not trying to leave my head like that anymore. I think I'm rambling now.  Y'all have a good New Year's Eve and I'll see ya next year.

December 24, 2017

I'm not in Witness Protection I promise

So apparently I was more neglectful than I thought I was with this page.  Y'all the last three months of the year have been high octane hot mess.  I'm going to try to keep these in categories that make sense so I'm not randomly but I can't promise that at the moment.  Let's get into it before I take a nap and say forget it again and boom it will be January.

Work: So in all the ways work can be frustrating and exhilarating it was this year.  I was heavily recruited to do something and after saying no to the first two proposals I negotiated a temporary gain to the salary scale and jumped right on in.  I've in in meetings I wouldn't have been privy to otherwise and have been able to share feedback that wouldn't have come up before either.  Lots of professional development opportunities for me and campus and that is flipping amazing let's just be honest.  It's also meant a crap ton more work and while my classes weren't impacted my normal response time to some things slowed up.  However, I was bright and shiny as much as I needed to be and have a few more major projects to wrap up before I can say I did some great work for you in ten months let's see what to do with it now.  I also got one major project to a point of completion and that ate up literally ten of the twelve months of the year.  It also led to a bit of frustration but hell it's over with in one regard for the moment.  New team is composed to move forward and we'll see how that goes.

Weight: Can technically keep this one short.  I am not back over the start weight but I'm only a few pounds still in the loss category.  The stress of the year meant I dropped the one thing that had been my saving grace over the last two years which had been self-care.  I spoke with my trainer about that  a few months ago and asked for a time out.  We're rebooting next week and I am going to try to spend more time taking care of myself as well.  Everyone is happier when I'm happier.  Keep your fingers crossed for me.  A girl needs some support.

Hair: So this one is weird.  I lost a ton of hair during my last take down but remember how I said I was slipping on the self-care? Well this fell into that realm too.  I'm totally responsible for the dry hair just saying girl please and taking a break.  It's still thick and while no gain was had from the last updo I wasn't bald lol.  The shape is slightly better now.  I may or may not put it back into a protective style before classes start but for now I am leaving it down, going to try to wash and style it for tomorrow so I can be cute on Christmas.  Regardless, this is part of the must do better option for 2018.  To that end I'm going to probably revisit some of the things I was willing to do a while back that I forgot about when I said this makes more sense.  Products are great but there has to be some routine that I'm willing to stick to at this stage.  And I may have to give away some more products and go with a plan B.  My hair dryer is great but my hair is too thick to be functional with that thing.  I need one made for thick hair with wider brush or comb options.  The diffuser is nice by my arm is literally mad as hell by the time I'm even half way dry.  Gotta use the next few days to plan some stuff out.

Random: birthday was good, dating is weird, friends are funny and my nieces are flipping amazing--big up to my brother for raising delightful children.  Butter London released polish inspired by the color of the year.  One was the direct color and one was Purple Reign.  Yep I copped that well both of them and a third light purple shade to add to my purple mix.  If it was gel I would have flipped my shit but it's not so my toe nails may enjoy it and I'll consider my finger nails.  Donuts are magical, meal prepping is easier when I'm tired for some reason, love my family and life can be good even when it doesn't seem like it.

Here's looking forward to a productive 2018.