Header/Navigation Bar/Social Media Icons

December 30, 2015

Nothing Profound Here

I have been on a much needed vacation and have done nothing seriously important since the 21st.  Between then and now I've gone on vacation, hugged my family so much that I'm sure they got tired of it, made peace with some things that needed burying, and have decided to try to strike a new accord with some old relationships.  Nothing may come of that BUT I'm okay with that as well.  Having another milestone birthday has given me a new wave of understanding of myself and what I'd like to be doing now and in the future.  And because I think she did it well, I'm stealing an idea from a sorority sister make this year amazing by saying yes to as many things and experiences as I can.  Life is too short to keep saying no to things out of fear or reluctance.  I've done a few of those as part of the vacation.  I don't really like big gatherings with folks I don't know but I engaged in two of them last week lol.  Those don't count as I didn't embrace them for what I could get out of them but I will explore and do my best.  And as of this afternoon, I got in workout 100 for the year.  I may go tomorrow before they close but I may just chill and do things for work since that starts again on Monday.  Have a happy New Year to each and every one of you.  Thanks for continuing to stick with me as I ebb and flow through this whole thing.  I'm off to find gray hair for the next braid or twist or what not phase.

December 20, 2015

In light of recent events

This post will be a detour from the rest.  I had planned to do a birthday recap because I just crossed a new birthday milestone and the semester is finally really over and after noon tomorrow I get my life back in theory for a few weeks as I prep for the spring semester and work for something else.  But you know what they say about God laughing at us when we go making plans.  Friday afternoon I got a call from a sorority sister that I love but we don't speak often really.  I didn't immediately think something bad had happened until I got her text message a few moments later and then called her back.  I'm not sure how many of you know that I'm in a sorority or why this would matter but I became a Delta in 2004.  Well before that moment I stumbled upon a website so many aspiring Deltas did at that moment and have in the interim, The DeltaNet.  The owner was a long time Delta who wanted to provide some honest resources for folks who were like myself.  But the majority of the site was for members and while it stayed that way no one really seemed to care.  When there became a private area for the non members all hell broke loose and the owner, Bonita Jackson Butler, was suspended for a while.  She was suspended when I crossed and didn't come to my initiation but sent me the best gifts because in the five years I had gotten to know her she was one of the most trusted people in my little Delta world.  Even though there were ebbs and flows in our relationship over the last ten years she was still one of the few people programmed in my phone under the Soror tag.  She and others had told me at the time I crossed that every Soror is a Delta but every Delta is not YOUR soror and people had borne that out many a time since then but not her.  If she agreed with me or didn't she was always clear about it and it didn't impact our relationship.

So moving back to Friday and the unexpected phone call.  I was made aware that Beejae had died in her sleep the night before.  If there had been alcohol nearby I would have had a drink but I was in my office working on grades and had to mentally take a break.  She had recently had a few health issues recently but nothing that she should have died from.  She was very much so missing her mother who had died earlier this year but she was enjoying life with her husband and just seemed to be on the road to happily ever after.  I worked all of yesterday because I had to but now that the work is done and I am back to processing life I'm hurt again for her, for her husband and for all the people that genuinely loved her or were the benefactors of her love.

I just watched an episode of Say Yes To the Dress where mom and daughter were in conflict about a wedding dress purchase.  Both of them clearly loved each other and eventually came to an agreement and I was a teary eyed mess.  Which made me think about my own mother.  I love her and I'm sure she loves me as well.  But I have never had the kind of relationship with her that Beejae had with her mom or others seem to have with their mothers--well those with healthy mom relationships.  From tying her shoelaces because she didn't (still doesn't really) know how to making dinner to giving up activities to take care of my brother, I have always felt less like her child than another parent in the house.  My brother would tell you I raised him.  There was a point in time that they hadn't seen my mother's signature on things for so long (because I was told to just sign stuff myself not because I was a horrible child lol) that the one day she insisted on writing me a note for school they called because they thought I had forged it.  She didn't hurt us.  We weren't neglected or physically abused ever.  Mentally her jabs weren't conscious attempts to wound us she was just lashing out because we didn't appear to be siding with her instead of our father when it came to whatever she was upset about.  When she is no longer with us it will hurt just like it did when dad died.  I am just wondering if I'll understand what other folks are going through who clearly get upset when I talk about my relationship with mom as they mourn their own mothers.

I can't say that I will for certain, no one knows how that will go I understand but I do know that right now my heart is heavy because I lost another woman that I respected and whom appeared to embrace those she really cared about with her entire heart.  No strings attached just room for you if you chose to take it.  I know this is part of life.  It's a part that sucks though.  I will be back later this week full of cheer cause my nieces are making me giggle.  If not then let me wish you all a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Festive Kwanzaa, Festivus for the rest of us, or just a good day if you don't celebrate a thing.

December 12, 2015

Fifty Million Shades of Gray

 photo HairFrenzy_zps227f41c9.png

I promise this isn't a post about that horrific book and from what I hear that mildly but not really sexual movie.  So I got my hair twisted.  As usual it's a godsend.  Somewhat atypical I am doing a better job of using the moisturizing spray and leave in conditioner on the length of my hair like Gina Marie mentioned in a video not too long ago.  Now that I have recommitted to getting my 100 workouts in this year, not having to toy with my hair is much appreciated.  I am six away from that for those who are wondering.  But as is also usual the gray hair that stays mostly hidden for a week or so is like yeah chick I'm back.  I know it's not likely that the braid shop keeps it in stock and not wanting them to order a bunch just for me I went looking for gray braiding hair.  Go figure that was trendy this year for some reason.  Edgy and different to purposely dye your hair gray instead of letting nature do it to you slowly over a prolonged period of time I get it.  I think it's weird but I get it lol.  There seem to be no shortage of braiding hair brands and options online.  I know what I'm Looking for in terms of color but what I'm finding is there is no standard gray.

There's a gray and black ombre.  If the color pattern was flipped it might be okay but not my favorite look.

There's what looks to be a medium gray as well but it seems too dark for my hair which is closer to white than a straight gray.

There is also a mix but I can only find that on Amazon and one local store and the hair felt like crap so I left it there.  The look is cute on the blogger (SimplyGorgeousNic) that I saw but the hair isn't local.  Random aside: as I went to check out the blog to properly give her credit she's raving about the hair so I trolled a few videos and found it at BNG hair.  I may have completed my search, we'll see.

And then there's just plain old white which seems way too drastic for my hair and face even though my hair has begun to abandon all pigment like an evil little color sucking troll camped out and went to town.

Blah, all in an effort to blend my hair into the braids better I'm on the great gray braiding hair hunt.  Here's a photo of me shortly after they were installed.

And one from a few days ago I think.

It was clearly sloppy pull back day.  But it works and I like them so much more than the last time I had them done. I greatly appreciate one of the stylists well not two in the shop that do my hair because they pay attention and they work quickly without being weird or eating in my ear---I seriously cannot explain how much I seriously hate that.

So what do you think of gray/silver/white braids?  I'm excited about the possibility even though I think it will just confuse people more.  The woman at the braid shop thought I wanted the silver hair to be cute until she saw my damn near white hair and said my hair doesn't match my face and I look much younger.  I'll take it, especially less than a week from my next birthday but the gray hair has been my friend since I was twelve, so a long damn time lol.

The Wash Day Experience

November 26, 2015

Wash Day Sort Of & Reviews

 photo HairFrenzy_zps227f41c9.png

I shouldn't say sort of.  I did wash my hair today.  I didn't take my hair down on Monday night as planned because I wasn't going to get my hair cut until tomorrow.  Plus there was no time to sort out what to do with my hair while I still got two workouts in before the holiday.  I took it down last night, well I started out right after I finished running around but because they were so small it took me almost six hours to wrap that process up, but was so tired that all I did was did a brief fluffing out and then went to bed.  I noted a few spots that were knotted but nothing that couldn't be addressed after some conditioning.

I woke up this morning and grabbed almost ever deep conditioning mask and treatment I had (Dr. Miracle's, Moroccan Oil, It's a 10 and an Organix blend) and took some time to fully cover my hair.  Then I did my first really good detangle and covered my hair with a plastic cap and the Hot Headz (I think that's the name, don't hold me to it) cloth cover and went about my day.  I cooked breakfast and the turkey for lunch/dinner, almost took a nap and then had my only two meals of the day thus far.  Then I figured I should wash this out because I wasn't sure how long this was going to take to wrap up.  My hair felt like it was okay but I detangled again just to be safe.  I washed it out and felt a little place where it could mat if I wasn't careful but fingered it loose and then went for the post poo deep conditioner which in this case was just Shea Moisture Deep Treatment Masque and a store freebie that I can't remember lol.  I only left it in for like an hour and washed it out in the sink to hopefully prevent any kind of post love matting.  I finger detangled until I put in my leave ins following the LOC method with an added bonus of an Aveda Smooth Infusion treatment to help the hair straighten.  And then I fired up my new hairdryer.

I will say I had massive reservations about how this dryer would hold up with all of the poof that was my almost five month and change post relaxer hair.  I knew it was more powerful than my other one which was supposed to mean it would dry faster but yeah life could super suck if the comb attachment and dryer didn't live up to its billing.  This was the only time ever that my hair felt like butter when a dryer hit it.  It worked quickly and really just made the entire process super easy.  I had to stop for a while because my other dryer I could hold like a big brush versus this one.  But the comb and dryer moved through all of the poofiness with not a bit of trouble.  I stopped short of flat ironing it since I'm going to have it trimmed tomorrow and her flat iron skills far exceed my own.  I'm going to tie it down at the gym tomorrow morning if I can wake up on time.  Hair appointment at 2 and then new photo when I'm not quite looking homeless.  I don't now just like dang have you EVER put a relaxer on your hair.  Now onto the reviews.

New Products: I have used Shea Moisture products before and my hair super duper did not like them.  I was hesitant to buy them as part of my transition but Carol's Daughter discontinued their transitioning line and Shea Moisture was recommended as a good alternative both online and by my old stylist (hey Keshia).  First it took a while for it to lather but when it did my hair felt clean and fresh and a few finger curls through stopped any major issues.  After I figured out how to open the conditioner it worked equally well and I probably could have stopped with the two of them but I added parts of my old staples just to keep it balanced with protein and moisture.  I will give a total thumbs up to the Raw Shea Butter and Argan Oil product line (I didn't purchase this kit because it's not available in the store but it shows you all the products I used except the finishing elixir which they didn't have in the store).  Maybe they aren't great for super straight hair but for hair in need of some love and moisture they were well appreciated.  For those of you that like numbers better 9/10, I do like more lather but it seems to do the job well so far.

New Dryer:  Hot Tools Professional Tourmaline Tools 2000 Turbo Ionic Dryer.  I played with about 6 dryers of varying price points before I went with this one and I'll admit a large portion of what I made my final decision on was that was red lol.  I was worried because when I have purchased dryers like this in the past the comb attachments weren't sturdy enough to handle the thickness of my hair.  They frequently broke and just left me irritated about finding a replacement.  My Gold N Hot was a god send when I found it but really after almost abandoning heat altogether over the last few years I hadn't noticed how ineffective it had become in working through my hair.  So yes it was time but no I wasn't confident.  As I mentioned earlier though it was amazing.  Watching the heat shift smoothly along with the fan speed was new.  On full blast though it would fry my hair so medium to high heat and no more than medium speed and I had dry soft poofy hair in a fraction of the time it would take with my old dryer.  I'd say really like half the time and that was with my old dryer being on bake your skull heat.  I highly recommend it especially if it keeps holding up with the wash days as the hair gets less and less relaxed.  Plus it's on sale right now and if you get it at Ulta (the link directs you there) then you can get a free styling tool with it and not the cheap stuff they are trying to get rid of either.  I got a 1 inch barrel curling iron (in purple no less lol) that was normally 52.99 for free.  So yeah it was 70 bucks but I got both products for 35 at that point plus the random coupons that Ulta gives out lol.  Thumbs up here as well.  For those of you that like numbers better 9.5/10--there's a knock on comfortability in the hold but it's good.  I'm pretty sure the Ulta model is missing the focused blow attachment but I wouldn't use that one on my hair so it wasn't a major loss that it wasn't in the box.  EDIT my box has all the attachments--I still won't be using the focused blower lol.

UPDATE: So I went in and got my trim today and the flat iron is so randomly foreign to me now that the smell of my hair is slightly maddening.  Regardless it wasn't as traumatic to do as I thought it might be so I'm going to just let the hair grow out slowly under a series of twists, braids, weaves and what not.  Here are updates of my barely neck length hair that will be hidden again in a few days.  Made it to the gym before the trim too--yippee!

The Wash Day Experience

November 22, 2015

Hair and all it's weirdness

 photo HairFrenzy_zps227f41c9.png

So I'm sure some of you are wondering what decision I made and truthfully I'm still dancing back and forth a bit.  I'm taking down my hair tomorrow after work and the gym more than likely.  I would have done it tonight but it snowed and the braids provide a little more heat on my sure to be cold if completely exposed head.  And after tomorrow's grocery store run my plan is to be a hermit unless  I can make an appointment for a trim before the holiday.  If it's easy enough to deal with then I will just head into a long term transition.  It's easier to do when I kind of didn't have to fight to make that decision in the first place thanks to wearing the twists since July.  If it's a hot mess where the textures meet I'll just chop it off and enjoy being curly until I can put it back into a protective style.  I'll get at least a trim either way.  My mother is totally not on board with the whole thing and thinks relaxing is just what I should keep doing until I die.  My ex and the guy I'm seeing are questioning the whole process but understand the desire to have healthy hair.  Both are in favor of protective styling especially if I whack it off.  I'll either update this post or start a new one later this week with the ultimate decision.  Thanks to everyone for their feedback and encouragement.  I haven't seen my super curly hair in so long I have no idea what it will look like.  On another note, last week was super not good for the gym or anything dealing with the life of raising my mother BUT there's always hope for the future so here's to this week being better.  Plus my boo won the year end championships in 81 minutes after spanking Nadal yesterday (6-3, 6-3) in about the same amount of time and Federer today (6-3, 6-4).  I was actually able to watch a large chunk of it instead of being stressed out like when they typically play.  Novak was putting on a clinic.  It was amazing.  And I got to see Little Shop of Horrors again lol.  Good day.

November 15, 2015

Updates and Apologies..again

Howdy all,

not sure who is still stopping by because I have been lackluster at best at updating this blog as of late but I did want to pop in today to share a few new things.  For one I am back on track with my trainer.  While I will mourn FitOrbit's easy to use platform, things have mostly transitioned well with my trainer Elizabeth on the new platform (TotalCoaching).  Much like FitOrbit you have to find the right person and price point for you.  The TotalCoaching app is actually working and while on my phone I can't log my meals super easily (or at all--if you know how to do this let me know lol) tracking the workouts is super easy and it has animated videos for 99 percent of them so that if I was confused on how an exercise should look I don't have to waste time searching on youtube to figure out what my body should be doing.  That doesn't mean I nail them all but I'm trying.  I was pretty good on food but getting better there.  And the last two weeks I actually made it to the gym three and four times respectively.  It feels great when I'm there even though my weight is going up and down.  I am consistently forty pounds down but there's a weird flux of those other ten pounds I shed that may just have been lax gym time.  Who knows but I am working on getting it all back off again.  Odder still, even though my scale and I are perpetually fighting my clothes and I are doing another tango.  There are days when all of my size 14 things feel too flipping big and then a day or so later things are good to go again.  And then the size 8/10 workout pants I bought to prep for the winter shed (none of the workout pants I like are actually available mid winter when I might be losing weight so I bought them early) legitimately fit and aren't snug.  It's seriously bizarre in my closet right now.

So now that you have been thoroughly brought up to date here's something else I've been debating.  As I noted in my last post I haven't relaxed since the end of June and my nifty Senegalese twists are making it so that I mostly don't care about that.  Which led me to think maybe I'm super done with the relaxer movement right now.  My hair loves me and I've been mean to it lol.  My stylist before the move kept encouraging me to go natural because my new growth was cute curly, I imagine like my nieces' hair because I never paid much attention to her and just encouraged the new dose of creamy crack .  When I take these down I'll be around 20 or 22 weeks post I think and I can either relax and see what my hair looks like nearly half a year with no relaxer, I can texlax but that's not high on my list, or I can commit to transitioning at this stage.  I am leaning towards the later to be honest.  There has been some sort of chemical on my hair since I was 11 and I would like to see if my hair can get past my shoulders again and be healthy.  No one seems to have a major issue with that, because of course I have asked many a friend and family member about that.  The issue, if there is one, is if I should just cut off the relaxed hair and start fresh--still protective styling with twists or something--or if I should just learn how to do the two step hair dance.  There are pros and cons to each for me so I would love to know your thoughts about moving out of the relaxer phase of my life.  Since I've embraced all of this change and wellness and new experiences for my life prior to turning 40, this seems like it could be another positive change but I'm of course anxious and wondering what to do first.

So if you've made it this far, I'm going to ask for your thoughts in the comments but also include a poll if I can figure out how to put it back in here lol.  Hope all is well with you and as life begins to slow down I will try to get back here more often.

You can vote once a day if you really want to lol and you can pick more than one answer during each vote.

What should I do with my hair?

Keep relaxing with the long stretches
Keep relaxing but don't stretch past 16 weeks
Nix the relaxer and chop it off
Nix the relaxer and grow it out first
Something else entirely
Poll Maker

The Wash Day Experience

October 17, 2015


Okay everyone.  I realized I haven't updated things in a while.  My last relaxer was in June not April lol.  It was a few weeks before my trip to Amsterdam because I got my hair twisted before I left.  The workout count is SHOT.  I won't try to fix that right now but I will keep a count some kind of way for the workouts till the end of the year.  FitOrbit which I loved so much has gone kaput but my trainer and I are still working together through Total Coaching now.  We'll see how this platform compares as my new plan starts tomorrow.  I am over my not sure I want to be smaller thing as well.  So life is okay.  My last hair detangling process was more complicated than I wanted it to be but it was because I left my hair up much longer than it should have been.  These will be out at the latest by mid November.  I'll relax my hair then OR whack off everything but the new growth.  There's lots of it, really lots of it.  How goes things with you all?

September 25, 2015

Lessons Learned In Silence

So it's been a good long while since I posted something new.  I have been working out when my energy and brain matter allowed it.  My hair is back in twists and I'm considering putting in set three to get through October and November.  I need to do a massive cleaning and get the clothes I've collected over to Goodwill or the Women's shelter.  So yes I've been fine but still not quite fine in the same vein.

I just realized what I was struggling with over the last week or so.  I've been in the midst of an identity crisis as it were.  My life is sort of portioned out into sections.  There's work, there's fitness and well being which usually overlaps with hair, there's my relationships and then there's taking care of mom.  As I've traveled, lost weight, and making different kinds of inroads at work I realize just how much energy has been invested in maintaining those sections.  Now some of that is unnecessary as I know work and family could blend more than it does but I like my monkeys in different barrels.  And my health and wellness stuff is noticed by people at work so there's no way to hide it there anyhoo.  My relationships well that's different.  I live squarely in the Bible belt and anything that's a little bit different isn't tolerated super duper well so I'm not willing to explore too much openness there. 

Having said all of that the thing that matters most to my fitness is looking at myself and my body and giving myself permission to no longer be a Lane Bryant girl.  That may sound crazy but I remember the momentary psychological trauma that came when I could no longer shop in Lerner or NY&Co which used to be a sister store to Lane Bryant--maybe it still is but I haven't seen them in a while.  When I was out of the 12s and had to find pants that accommodate my rear end and belly and the like.  I mentioned my shock and awe when I went jean shopping because I had to abandon my 18s and 20s and thought it was time for a 16 but I had slid down into 14 without noticing.  Well I've been there for a while and I'm holding somewhere between 45 and 50 pounds down depending on the day.  As I was looking for a bra that one of the models I primarily know from LB had released as part of her own lingerie line I realized that I legitimately hadn't considered where I would be shopping for clothes when the 14s no longer fit.  LB doesn't stock 12s as best I can tell and my 12 is likely to still be curvier than Old Navy intends.  In that moment I realized that I was probably doing a little self sabotage in my efforts because while I am not at the weight I would like to be at for certain there is comfort in knowing I can walk into Lane Bryant and buy whatever I want with some fair bit of safety and assurance.  Healthy is the goal but the brain has to follow the body and I hadn't given myself permission to be smaller yet.

I'm working on that now though and I hope recognizing the issue will help.  How are all of you doing?

August 16, 2015

So I'm Finally Back

 photo HairFrenzy_zps227f41c9.png

I knew it had been a while since I posted but didn't realize it had been two months.  Work was kicking my pretty little butt and even with my spectacular vacation in the middle of it I came back to yet more work.  I won't bore you with the details of that right now but there are things to say.

So as of my last post I had permed my hair and was dealing with super duper shortness as some breakage had happened due to some uneven relaxers over the last year when I was still going to the shop.  I waited three weeks to get some Senegalese twists put in 1) to give my hair a chance to recover from the relaxer and 2) switched up the braids because while I wanted a break the micros felt like they were just too hard on my hair.  They took longer than I thought they would to install but they got me through my week in Amsterdam and the rest of my teaching and work this summer.  I took them down yesterday about a week later than I wanted to but earlier than I had planned because the shop was open today and could get me in to redo them.  Last night I started a prepoo around 7 and then the lazy hit me after the joy of the take down and eating dinner lol.  I washed with my normal mix of Moroccan Oil and Organix products, conditioned with MO, Aphogee and Mizani products before deep conditioning with Dr. Miracles.  I didn't flat iron it as that seemed like it would be a wasted just for a length check.  I did blow it out and here's a photo of me before I made it to the salon.

Not sure if you can completely tell at this point but it's longer than it was six weeks ago when it went up but it wasn't amazing growth of which my hair has never seen.  More importantly though there wasn't breakage.  Just some normal hair shed since my hair hasn't been combed in over a month.  I was actually still planning to be at the shop based on the last install but the owner did my hair this time and she is just much faster than everyone else.  Plus my scalp isn't feeling super sore at the moment either which is always a plus.  Here's a photo of the after.

Unlike the hair cutting process it doesn't matter what length I say to make my braids they end up being down my back but the size is good and I'm happy.  I won't look like super gray hair lady during my conference call in the morning lol.

On the workout front I've been slacking since tennis lessons ended and need to get back on it.  Tomorrow after the call and another meeting I think it will be movie, gotta see Straight Outta Compton, and then off to the gym and maybe tennis if the girls are meeting.  I also got my pinup photos taken and back in the absence, wow I've been away a while damn it lol.  So here's one of those too.  What have you been up to?

The Wash Day Experience

June 14, 2015

Setbacks and Reboots and Moving Forward

Okay folks I haven't written in a while but that's totally my fault.  Life has been kicking my butt with the amount of work I've been doing.  My hair I thought was taken care of since it was up but apparently the braids were too tight in places as there was some breakage.  Not so much that I'm distraught but more than I would like.  Some areas grew like weeds but that has created an uneven neckline so it will need to be trimmed on Wednesday when I go in.  My plan after a lot of conditioning and protein and the like yesterday is to relax tomorrow afternoon.  I might have waited longer but I'm still teaching and on Friday I'm flying out for another pinup photo shoot.I was going to rebraid my hair in a few weeks before I take off for my first real vacation in a month of Sundays (don't you love old southern woman speak) just so I didn't have to deal with it but was planning on box braids or larger individual braids instead of the micros.  It again didn't do as much damage as it could and my hair feels oddly thick even if it's not down to my butt lol.  There is quite a bit of new growth that I need to take care of as well so we'll see how that goes.  If I'm not loving the hair life post vacation and work conference then I'll take down the braids and do a massive chop of whatever isn't super straight.

With all the hair out I can step on the scale and have a more accurate reading.  Turns out I was about right about how much weight they were adding to the scale because as of this morning I am officially 51 pounds down since I started working with Elizabeth at FitOrbit.  I can't say what weight I was at when I took the original photos but I was in a size 18/20 or XXL or XXL in vintage clothing at the time.  Now I'm in 12s and 14s and no bigger than an XL in some of the vintage clothing designers I love.  I actually shed a bunch of clothing that I can't wear anymore and my closet looked sad until I hung up the vintage clothing and now it has its own little section in my wardrobe lol. 

I'm very excited about the vacation even though I'm slightly nervous about going alone.  However, I've vacationed in the US alone so this shouldn't be too much worse.  I'm paranoid at all times and overly cautious.  I've gotten some good travel advice and now can't wait to catch my plane and wake up in another country.  And I get to do it again a few weeks later for a conference but this one will be more locally out of the country, just crossing the northern border.  Oh oh and I got a research grant so I can move forward with the studies I wanted to do this summer.  Yeah for me.  So yeah the hair thing not so much fun BUT the rest of my life is going well.

When I get back from the photo shoot, tennis lessons start and I'm thrilled that I can take my ridiculous amount of tennis knowledge and make myself look totally incompetent while I work out.  I'll try to take a photo or short video to share my pain with all of you.  What's up in your world ladies and the occasional gent?

May 29, 2015

Fitness Friday: New Routine!

 photo WorkingItOut_zps3b12a038.png

I have been sporadic again I know.  So have my workout routines.  I don't think I've updated that number along the side in a minute.  Damn I should do that.  Anyway, as I mentioned in my last post my weight has been hovering in the almost 50 pounds last range for weeks.  Part of that due to stress and not hitting the gym as much as I could be it felt like I was plateauing a bit.  I mentioned it to my trainer and we are switching it all up.  Today was my first day of the rebooted routine and I LOVED it.  One or two moves I need to perfect and I need to get used to actually jogging instead of just walking briskly.  Tried it today and both impressed and disappointed myself.  I haven't run in a long time for more than a few seconds so improvement there but I actually made it through three cycles of my walk, jog, sprint cardio time before my body said no mas.  We're going to tweak a few things and head back at it.  I'm a happy girl who is excited to get back in sweat mode.  Yippee and I signed up for tennis lessons so hopefully that doesn't you know kill me or more aware of how limited my sports skills are lol.  How are you doing?

Fitness Friday

May 25, 2015

It's Been a Long, Shouldn't have left you...

...without a dope beat to step to, step to. 

Okay so you haven't had a substantive post from me in a while and I apologize for that.  End of one semester and almost immediate beginning of another one tends to make me MIA.  The braids are still holding up well.  I washed my hair finally about a week ago and lost another braid but again it was one that maybe shouldn't have been braided as there was very little hair in it.  My plan for the moment is to leave it in until June 13th or 14th depending on how many days I participate in the Relay for Life walk.  Because they aren't braided all the way to the end I doubt it will take as long as normal to take them down.  Actually now that I think about it they will come down on the 13th because I need to wash my hair really good along with a sure to be necessary massive detangle.  Sometime between the 15th and 17th I need to relax my hair because on the 19th I'm leaving for the weekend to do round two of my pinup photos.  I will be at least 40 pounds lighter but between the weather, my mood and inability to keep motivation for the gym I can't promise it will be 50 as I had hoped or even the 72 I was insane enough to shoot for in six months.  I am not about that life lol. 

Other than the few lost braids my hair is holding up well and I've enjoyed having my hair tucked away.  It has helped with the gym in the sense that I wasn't trying to depuff my hair every week but I feel like the sweat is pouring down my face when I go.  I've left the gym a few times and been like okay this is a hot mess lol.  My students and coworkers have loved them as well so I may put them back in closer to my vacation so I don't have to tinker with my hair at all while I'm out of the country. 

I've also started decluttering my house and have rid myself of a lot of clothes that just don't fit or that I have no desire to wear.  I'm still working on that though cause I have a lot of crap.  Then will come books and the like.  And I've been working on my green thumb.  I was very proud of my African violets like two weeks ago and then yeah they no like me no more.  Here are some photos of what is in the works on my dresser.

 African violet a few weeks ago lol

Money tree a few weeks ago

Money tree, calla bulb, calla lilies and repotted African violet

May 17, 2015

Product Review: Just Be Carefree!

This post is overdue but with the end of the semester and beginning of summer school (tomorrow) I've been a little tied up.  So as I'm mentioned to you before I sometimes get products for free from Influenster to review honestly.  It's a good gig and has introduced me to a few new products I love and wouldn't have known about otherwise.  Well, they sent me a sample of Carefree panty liners about six weeks ago which I can admit to being a little hesitant to try out.  I'm familiar with Carefree and they make good products but Always are my people lol.  When I received the box I have to say that hesitation grew.  The box was TINY which meant the product would likely be small as well.  Granted I'm on a weight loss kick but I kind of like having a liner that covers more than the dead center of my underwear which is why I have stuck with Always as they have an extra long liner that accommodates the rounder behind legion. 

This is the size of the liner when it's sealed--which hey is great because you can tuck it in your purse easily.  I was nervous to put it politely and that nervousness didn't diminish when I opened up the liner.

The next two photos are of the liner on it's on and next to my normal liners.

But I'm a trooper and after shaking my head in disbelief for a day or so I tried them out.  Due to the aforementioned weight loss they were an ok fit in my size 6 undies, not at all great in the size 7s.  They held up well over the course of the day and were kind of unobtrusive which I guess is the point of them.  I don't know if I like them enough to forgo the Always liners at least not in their current size and thickness.  A little more length and padding and this would be a great go to product.

May 16, 2015

Social Media Usage and Relationships

Howdy folks.  Just wanted to share a message from a friend who is looking for some help with her study.

I have restarted my research and have launched my first survey connected to one of my research interests--being connected online and how it impacts our offline relationships.  I am looking for participants who currently live in the US and who are over the age of 18.  The survey will take no more than 10 minutes to complete for most folks.  If interested please click the link below.

Thanks in advance.

Social Media Usage and Relationships

April 22, 2015

Major Updates: Slim Down & Tied Up

 photo HairFrenzy_zps227f41c9.png

So the hair post part of this update.  I am one week post heading towards two.  I was tired of trying to figure out what to do with my hair so I went ahead and got it braided up before I changed my mind again.  Now in every way that is recommended not to do I've nailed a lot of them on this braid pursuit depending on who you look to for advice.  I got my braids early post relaxer and they are on the small side but not crazy tiny.  On the upside it's not human hair (again depending on who you talk to) so it's holding the look better and isn't super heavy on my hair.  And other than a bit of itching I didn't have any headaches or pains post braiding.  Now it's hard to get adjusted all this hair when I'm doing minor things but the gym movement has been good so far.  Granted that's only been two workouts but I'm not doing the puffy hair pat down right now and that kinda rocks.  I got some more braid spray and some braid shampoo today and we're going to see if we can get to at least the two month mark with the braids.  I'm not against a potential touch up if needed.  If my hair enjoys it and feels healthier then I'll get them again before my big summer trip.  So my hair updates will be a little different for a while.  Here's a photo of the new do.

Now the other update that may be just as big or little as the case may be lol.  I have lost almost 50 pounds now.  I'm about a pound way from claiming that milestone and will probably do a dance of joy when it happens.  The biggest part of that is none of my clothes are fitting or were fitting so I had to finally go try on new clothes.  I grabbed jeans the next size down and realized it was too big.  Same thing with the tops I tried on.  After a moment of disbelief I realized I am in size 14 everything lol.  I finally took a photo of myself and yeah it's not the body I used to have at all.  Still happy and glad to be moving forward but yeah I haven't seen this body since probably the 90s.  Here's a photo of that as well.

How goes your pursuit of healthy hair and bodies ladies?

The Wash Day Experience

April 12, 2015

Honey Who?: Tackling my own Honey Do list

The last few days, well week, has been completely nuts.  Such is any week before my mother goes on vacation.  Three doctors visits, an EEG, blood work, about ten little shopping trips for things only my mother would ask for (like summer robes cause you always need a robe in the house no matter if it is going to be 90 degrees), and then a post EEG meltdown that required a day in bed and random outbursts that accused me of both making her fly out and then not allowing her to leave to go do what she wants.  As of this moment however she has been with relatives several hundred miles away for almost exactly 24 hours and I am on my own lol.  That means adjusting to random noises in the empty house that I don't pay attention to when she's here.  And remembering to prep less food cause it's just me to eat it.  Other than that though there's a lot else to catch you up on.

So after I got home I finally moved the dilapidated grill out for the trash man.  I'm not sure if I have to call the bulk guys for it cause it's seriously falling apart but I was tired of waiting for it to crash into pieces.  That also meant tossing the grill cover that was a mess as well.I came in and bagged up a ton of things that had been sitting on the floor and needed to be tossed.  I relaxed my hair and it's much better than last time (went up to super strength instead of normal) but I would like a stylist to handle it again.  I need a trim in the back but I am moving forward with getting my hair braided and will leave it up for at least four weeks.  If it times out well I can leave it up until right before the pinup shoot in June.  I'll take it down let it rest for a day and then probably relax it again.  Whether or not it goes back up into braids will depend on how much my hair hates that process.  Some moments are great.  The others my hair is like chick I'm going to itch you until you break down crying.   Having said that though I kinda want it tucked away when I leave for my bucket list trip in July.  I'm not hitting all my bucket list spots--honestly I'm just going to one place BUT trying to keep my relaxed hair cute in another country doesn't sound like fun for me.  Plus I have to leave the country again about a month after that for a conference.  That's just up to Canada but again lazy on a quick trip seems like the best option. 

Today I have graded everything for two classes and all but one item for another.  I had to stop though because they were making me want to drink heavily.  I just got through having my lunch and now I'm writing you.  In a bit I need to wash clothes.  And I still need to get some smaller jeans or more belts or both.  Tuesday I'm going back to the airport I think so that I can try to get into that nifty Pre Check program before my flights start.  I have two trips to make for business before that too but those will be drives.  Life is busy but I'm happy and I am back to losing weight yippee.

I relaxed with the Affirm Fiberguard relaxer again on super not normal this time.  I probably left it on longer than I should have .  The front came out a little bit better than the back but not dramatically so in all honesty.  Detangling was a breeze after a quick deep conditioning post relaxer wash out (with a protein treatment and normalizing [neutralizing] shampoo from Affirm then a shampoo and condition with my Moroccan Oil products) using the It's a 10 conditioning treatment.  Anyhoo here are the photos--one post detangling and one post relaxer.

How goes life around your way?

The Wash Day Experience

April 4, 2015

Saturday Summary of Fitness Friday

 photo WorkingItOut_zps3b12a038.png

So I've been light weight MIA the last few weeks.  After recovering from being sick I had a ton of stuff to do at work so the gym didn't happen.  I finally got off my lazy behind (ok not totally lazy) after my two week down time amounted to a two pound weight gain.  Given that has not happened prior to this month I'll take it but it made me unhappy.  This is my first week trying the tweaked workouts that Elizabeth gave me and they kicked my butt, Monday most of all because it was a lot of alternating weight work which takes a while for my brain to catch up to and process correctly.  Over the course of the week the weight has fallen off which means the gain was solely because my behind didn't go get my sweat on.  I was able to stick to my diet easily enough despite being sick so yeah even when I'm in maintenance mode I need to make the gym life my life otherwise I'll be packing the pounds back on.  Which leads to a different conversation.

My body is smaller than four months ago of course and it's reshaping a bit as well.  My clothes are also now too flipping big.  The sweaters are beginning to look like tents and the jeans just depend on the cut but there's more room in most of them around the waist than should be allowed.  No big deal right I'm sure I have some smaller ones here and turns out no I don't.  I've been in the same weight class as it were for so long that I have jeans that are bigger than my current size but not a single solitary pair smaller.  So I have got to start adding to the smaller girl collection just like with my workout gear and unmentionables.  This may be a TMI moment so skip it if you want but I've always enjoyed my breasts even if shopping for bras could feel like I was going bankrupt.  So I was a little apprehensive about going in for a new set because I was worried about how much I had shrunk.  I honestly had no idea I just knew my bras were not fitting well anymore.  I explain the situation to the fitter who measures me up and says yeah smaller band but no smaller cup.  That seemed unlikely but I tried on the new bra and it was like I had found a new friend.  I was also a little perplexed on the cup size not shifting but for the moment I'll take it.  I'm down two sizes in the panty range as well so now I have all of these oversized things in that arena as well.  I plan on donating the jeans and clothes that aren't too beat up.  Underwear I'll dump cause yeah no but can you donate gently worn bras?  The ones that I wore a lot are just going to have to be made into something else or dumped.

Last bit of information or update for today.  I have totally abandoned my Polar F7 watch.  It worked for like a nanosecond on Monday and then kept giving me the check the heart rate monitor error.  As I have gotten smaller the thing is just glitchy as hell.  My Fitbit is still on preorder so for the next month I'm just going to work out without all the tech you know like before when we didn't know those things existed or that we needed to track those things lol.  Ok I think I'm done rambling for now.  Gotta go update the sidebar. 

Anyway how goes your fitness goals?

P.S.  I keep saying I'm going to share one of my dinners and haven't done so.  So here is last night's very delicious dinner.  It's another meal from my trainer.  Mustard Salmon, brown rice and lemon roasted asparagus.

Fitness Friday

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

 photo HairFrenzy_zps227f41c9.png

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)

 photo WorkingItOut_zps3b12a038.png

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