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March 24, 2015

Influenster Moment: Neutrogena Hydro Boost

Howdy everyone.  I am late on this as with everything thanks to that week of crappy illness.  I received a sample of Neutrogena Hydro Boost to review from Influenster.com.  Y'all know I love the free stuff and Influenster so this was a win for me from jump.



I wasn't sure how big the box would be but when I opened the box up the first thing  I saw was this card.  For some reason I was being stupid or slow or something because even the image of the water didn't make me think of how the product would feel when I put it on my face.


The packaging itself is cute.  Pretty sturdy which I would know because I accidentally dropped it.  I followed the directions on the package and waited until I washed my face and went through my normal routine before I put this on my face as its more of a moisturizer finishing kind of step.  The product looks much thicker than it actually is when you apply it.


It looks more like water now that I'm looking at the photo again.  I mean the color not the texture.  It looked smooth and it smells great so I was excited about what it would feel like on my face.  Initially it felt kinda oily which was weird.  I think I just wasn't anticipating that it would be so slick on my face.  Immediately after that though my face felt like it was a little tighter and my skin was a little smoother.  The only thing that was a downside to the product for me as compared to my Clinique product was there's no SPF listed as being part of the product.  I'm not outside all day so it's not as crucial but it would definitely make a good product better.  You don't need very much of it to cover your face which is also a plusand it does feel very intensely moisturizing.  However, if you don't like strong--albeit pleasant--smells this could be a negative for you.  It mostly disappeared by the time I was done with my first class about four hours after I put it on but if you are hypersensitive to smells that could be a long time.  This could be an ideal winter product though because my skin never felt dry while this was on and the winter wind can be a bear.

All in all this is a good moisturizer and if you don't need an SPF rating on it you should definitely give it a shot.

March 22, 2015

No longer in the sick ward

I am feeling better, almost completely normal lol well as normal as I get.  I'm back on the diet as of today.  Have a little cough to bounce back from but nothing like this time last week when I was pretty sure one of my lungs was going to come flying out soon.  I did wash my hair and am no longer looking like a thistle.  Here's a quick update.  I'll be back when I'm back in fighting shape.  Gym tomorrow maybe.


March 19, 2015

Quick Update

I haven't vanished but I have been all kinds of sick this week.  I am finally on the mend and will probably get back to the gym next week.  I made it in twice last week and then the floating germs overtook me and I've been down since late Friday night.  I actually use Doctor On Demand to get some antibiotics and that helped immensely cause I was not in the position to drag my butt out of bed to go to the doctor's office.  Will be back next week with more to tell.  On the upside I haven't gained any weight.  Yeah for fevered sweaty sleep I guess. 

March 8, 2015

Wash Day & Fresh Looks

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So new month is upon us.  It's not quite as cold this week which is good but I'm not sure if I prefer consistent cold like this winter or ridiculous amounts of snow but periods of warmth like last winter.  That is not to say we haven't had snow this winter it just hasn't beaten us up as badly as it did last year at the same time.  Hopefully that isn't talking up a new round of winter hell cause I would be so mad at myself for even bringing that up.

My last few posts I have been mentioning getting my hair cut or whacking it all off and I'm still not ready for the whacking it all off movement but if the next stretch works okay then I might start texlaxing or maybe transitioning.  While the relaxer moments here are land mines unless I do it myself, I've found a stylist who admittedly knew very little about African American hair the first time I saw her but has spent more time than I have in the three or four months since then learning about it and how to work with it and we discuss that when I go in.  So while I like to do quite a bit myself there are things I just can't do and that with her willingness to expand her horizons makes it easy to trust her with my hair.  So after putting it off for weeks, mostly because I kept forgetting, I finally scheduled an appointment for a trim.

I may have mentioned this before but my front and sides grow way faster than the back.  You will notice breakage in the back way faster and more extensively in that area.  So I figured it was time for an all over trim.  I knew the front and side didn't need as much effort but the back did.  I told her when I sat down I was thinking maybe an inch or two up front would be needing to disappear and then do what she had to in the back.  It's amazing when they listen.  Now I still need to spend time and effort nursing an all over growing movement but I'm happy with what has transpired as of now.  And good Lord my hair is GRAY.  The photos aren't dramatically different but you can see the results of yesterday's cut.

She washed and put on a conditioning treatment before the cut as well.  My hair actually likes the Aveda products in the salon too.  She did blow dry on high but her high and my dryer's high settings are massively different.    My hair does feel much better as well so I need to keep that in mind when a lazy moment hits again because it will so hit again.  How was your wash day?




The Wash Day Experience

March 1, 2015

February Final Thoughts: All Things Fitness (& Food)

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This past month was all kinds of bad for working out.  Yes I squeezed ten workouts in and yes I made a point of taking the stairs instead of elevators but I could have done much more.  Between the weather, stress at work and a basic major project hangover it was my not my most stellar month ever.  When I was there it was fantastic and I was amazed at how my body keeps changing.  My workout clothes that used to be snug are loose or too big entirely.  I'm at the point that I may have to adjust the band on my heart rate monitor again cause it's a little slack when I'm working out as of late.  And I have gone from actively avoiding the elliptical machine to spending forty minutes or more on it whenever I hop on that bad boy.  I'm within a half pound of one my bucket list items--lose forty pounds.  That may or may not happen this week but you know what I'm ok with that.  The weight doesn't have to pour off of me each week.  I'm not gaining weight and I'm losing at least five pounds each month which is what brings us to now.

It has felt like forever since I have lost more than five pounds and kept it off so this is a new experience for me.  While other people are noticing the weight loss when they see me for me I'm not seeing major changes anywhere except my belly which is shrinking, it's not flat but shrinking.  I've opted to upgrade the fitness watch as I think I mentioned in a previous post so it's just a matter of waiting until my plum Fitbit Charge HR is delivered.

As I finished my second bottle of water this morning I was amazed at my shift from water is disgusting to that is pretty much all I drink especially when I have my Mio or Minute Maid drops.  I'm not overeating and I'm not overindulging when I do have a cookie or brownie or something at work.  I'm committed to doing the food thing healthy now and can eyeball a good serving size and do check calories on things I'm buying.  I am by default counting calories because of my meal plan but I've been surprised about how not hungry I am eating a more balanced diet than the bored and ridiculous amount of food I was eating before.  And as my trainer has noted I'm still eating foods I like I'm just not making them in a way that would kill me and I'm not eating them to excess.  Time for a snack then beef kabobs and a baked potato for dinner tonight.

Gotta stick with it.  I will be pinup cute dang it.  More than that though I'm happy that I am not continuing to allow my body to be out of control just because I feel helpless to change it.  It's changing, slowly but surely.  I actually slid into a pair of my old size 18 Lane Bryant jeans on Friday and they were comfortable with a little give.  My other jeans are way too big now and if I don't wear a belt they would be in super saggy mode.  I haven't put on my dress pants as of late cause it's really freaking cold.  But I tend to be in at least one size smaller dress pants than jeans so whenever I brave the size 16s to see if they fit I will let you know.  I'm worried they will be too big.  The pants I loved from LB used to have belt loops, these do not which is just stupid.   How is the working it out going in your direction?

Fitness Friday

February Final Thoughts: All things hair

Ok I am really off my publishing cycle.  Work has been kicking my butt and I have just been in a get it done and sleep frame of mind as of late.  I have had good wash days the last few weeks but have mostly opted to air dry and then do something with it if I'm motivated to do so later.  So far that motivation has been lacking so I just faux bun and get off to work or the gym.  As I have been tinkering with my hair I can tell that the same breaking point with my hair has been reached so I have got to do better.  The lower half of the back of my head is always more prone to breakage and damage.  The rest can be full and thick and will cover up the weak spot but this has happened since I was at least 12 off and on and I'm not sure what to do to fix it but I am open to suggestions.  I have yet to consult with the hair braider but that may an option if I can get to their shop.  One because it will let my hair rest a bit and protect it from the ridiculously consistently cold weather and two it will allow me to stretch a bit longer.  Considering I did the last relaxer my roots are not completely out of control as they were the last time I paid someone to put it in.  The length appears to be holding steady but I'm also sure that I am in need of a trim to help even out some of the stuff in the back and just in general.

Otherwise my hair routine hasn't shifted much.  I did finally use the Roux Porosity Control conditioner and my hair loved it last week.  This week it doesn't seem as impressed but we'll keep plugging along to see if anything changes. I was going to say my hair looked pretty much like it does in the photo below because I didn't take a picture today but I am wrong.  It looks a bit longer today than it did a month ago so maybe I'm wrong about the length holding steady.  My hair has been ridiculously dry which I know is partially do to the weather but I'm being super lazy every day except wash day so someone please smack my hand on that if you don't hear me discussing healthy hair habits.  I did add a new hair vitamin the last time I went to grab the natural body wash from the health foods store.  I've only been taking it a few weeks and it hasn't been super consistent.  That's the issue with me lately consistency.



For those that asked yep I plan on self relaxing again.  I just may wear my old glasses next time so that I can be sure to get all the wavy bits covered without it being a touch only process.  When my hair is doing its own thing I also consider whacking it all off lol but I haven't had the motivation to do that either.  Plus as I mentioned it's super duper cold so more hair keeps my head warm.  I haven't had swim class to derail the whole hair journey right now either because the coach has been really ill but in the future that will be back on the agenda I'm sure.  How goes wash day and healthy hair journey for you?
The Wash Day Experience

February 8, 2015

Fitness Friday: Updates & Upgrades

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I am still getting my shrinking behind to the gym on a mostly regular basis.  January was a little spottier than I wanted but February has started off well so far.  I hit all the planned workouts for the week except swimming which got pulled because my instructor is still ill.  For the moment that means next week I'll get up and hit yoga then the gym and back to real life.  That does mean I need to work on my annual report before Saturday but I'm hoping to nail that down by Friday evening.  The workouts themselves are getting more interesting.  Not because they are hard but because of things I'm noticing later.  I mean they aren't easy but my body is hitting wave two of the weight loss process I guess.  I'm noticing my abs and behind in particular are much sorer after each work out.  A friend is saying the muscles are getting used again after shedding some weight.  That could be true but it's definitely different.  There are still a good mix of cardio and weights and stretches built in.  When I get tired I take it easier but I haven't had to cut any workouts short in months.  And now that I think about it that was at the very beginning when my body was surprised I was still trying to push it.  So really no abbreviated workouts since early November.

I've had to start buying smaller workout clothes a well because the original stuff is way too big.  The new stuff is slightly too big but I don't want things clinging to me while I'm sticky.  I need to find some longer shirts and matching sets more.  I like the idea of Fabletics but clingy isn't cute and they rarely had things in my size as it was.  Long sleeves always make me feel better but they aren't a sticking point.  I am on the lookout though so if you see anything in the 14/16 range let me know.  Wow even typing that is weird having been in the 18/20 range for quite some time now.

And after more than a year with my Polar FT7 I'm about to let it rest peacefully as soon as my new fitness band arrives.  In case you were wondering why I'll be happy to tell you.  Before I got smaller the band and heart rate monitor seemed to find an easy spot on my chest to rest and measure what it needed to.  After adjusting the band and being a bit more active it seems a little psychotic if I'm honest.  Most of the time the heart rate is fine but suddenly without any explanation it jumps up to 221 or something similar on the wearable monitor.  I notice this more on the cardio machines than just walking around but it can happen on both.  The reason I know it's off is when I grab the sensors on the cardio machines it stays in the right range so it's really the HR monitor on my body that is going nuts.  So I decided to upgrade after talking to my tech consultant, i.e. my younger brother who gets all the stuff way before I do, and I am moving over to the Fitbit Charge HR.  One because I can get one that's purple and who doesn't love purple lol.  And two because there is no band to wear and hope it's adjusted properly.  This measures heart rate at the wrist and is worn most of the time--no pool or shower, so it's not something you have to remember to put on to get the right measure.  If I forget the band for the Polar all I'm really doing is clocking time because it can't do much more without it.  Only problem with my purple (officially labeled as plum) fitbit charge HR is that they are in the preorder stage at the moment.  I measured my wrist and at 7 inches it would have been a snug fit in the large band which only goes up to 7.6 inches.  I'm getting the XL to be safe since my wrist does not seem to be subject to the same weight loss issues as the rest of my body lol.  Here's a look at it:






So how goes workouts in your land?


Fitness Friday


January Hair Updates

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Well it's been a while since I talked about my hair on here and I apologize for that.  I've been working and working out way more than planned.  Add in ridiculous cold and snow and it's just been a hot mess around here.

I'm about a month post now but that has been an experience in and of itself.  I have not found a new stylist after the relaxer fail late last year.  I thought I had found someone new but after making contact with her about two weeks before I was planning on getting a relaxer (before my conference) she never returned my call.  I called her a few more times but no one ever picked up at the shop.  That could have been weather related but yeah it's just poor business practice to me.  I gave up and relaxed my own hair.  Which let's just say was terrifying as I haven't done that in at least a decade.  I got the same kit that my old stylist in Arkansas used from Amazon.  Affirm Fiber Guard with the relaxer, prep and after care products, and the ability to make the relaxer as weak or strong as I liked.  I stuck as close to the timer as humanly possible for application and went with the regular strength relaxer for this first attempt.  I did let it sit on longer for processing cause my hair can be resistant as hell (as I mentioned to the nice woman at Ulta last year) and initially felt pretty good about the results when I washed it out.  There were a few underprocessed patches and I am in definite need of a trim but over all it looked and felt a great deal better than the last experience.  That is throwing me off schedule of course as my perm wasn't supposed to be until end of this month/beginning of next month but my hair was at the point of relaxing it or chopping it all off and starting over.  To be clear I haven't completely given up the major hack off idea but it's on hold for now that I haven't managed to make my hair fall out.  I am shedding a bit when I take down my hair from mock buns.  It could be the sweating or the not completely detangling it at night but it's not coming out in clumps which would make me sad.  I really think it's partially in need of a trim.

I've kept it straight and tucked away for the most part since January.  I may leave it down every blue moon but for the most part it's ends away.  I did a tiny trim myself the day of the relaxer but I'm no professional and getting to the back is a problem at the moment.  Blind women cutting hair is so not great.  And no I'm not blind but woosah without my glasses I might as well be.  I'm going to include some old pictures from the last few washes because I haven't started today and will be rushing the rest of the day as a result.

How goes things with you ladies?  I've missed all of you.






The Wash Day Experience