Friday, January 20, 2012

Cleaning up the cob webs...

Hello..helllooooooooo!!! Anyone still out there?? Yes, it's been awhile...a very long while. Many things have changed since I've last written such as:

1. The boyfriend was ugpraded to the fiance and finally promoted to the HUSBAND! We got married back in September 2011.



(I just learned that fiancé is a man engaged to be married and fiancee is a woman engaged to be married. The whole time I thought they were the same thing and you used the double "e" when you didn't make the acute accent. I just found this out and that the accent mark above fiancé is called acute accent. I google everything)

2. The husband and I have happily expanded our family. Introducing "The Baby". Names may have been changed to protect the identity of those who can't hold their head up or stay awake long enough to protest. I may be biased but, he's pretty intelligent. Just the other day I promise he said my first name. Even some grown people have a hard time pronouncing my first name.

3. Our family did not expand by just plus one. Introducing...Mochi. (She has agreed to use her real name.) I forgot how crazy the puppy stage is. Mochi turned 1 this past Christmas. I'm hoping she'll calm down soon. I don't know how much more Korina, her older sister, can take. Mochi is a full bred maltese. I have the papers to prove it. Korina on the other hand - I'm slowly doubting each day that she's a full bred maltese. I don't think malteses are supposed to get as big as cocker spaniels.

And then there are some things that have not changed such as:

- my makeup obsession and growing collection as a result of this obsession
- quest for long HEALTHY NICE hair (just because it's long doesn't mean it's nice)
- my battle to become fit

I'll have some upcoming posts related to these.

Engagement and wedding images courtesy of Scott Hayne photography.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Curl Junkie Products

I had the opportunity to test out a variety of Curl Junkie products. Once again, I started off with the smell test. It's always the first thing I do with a new product. Two thumbs up for the scents, especially the Coffee Coco Curl Creme and Hibiscus and Banana deep fix - moisturizing conditioner. I already had the Sulfate Free Gentle Shampoo and Curl Assurance Daily Hair Conditioner which came with a My Pretty Pink Box I had ordered a couple weeks ago. Marsha, of Curl Junkie Hair Products, was nice enough to send me Curl Theory Moisturizing Hair conditioner, Hibiscus and Banana deep fix - moisturizing conditioner, Coffee Coco Curl Creme, Curl Assurance Aloe Fix Hair Styling gel, and Curl Assurance smoothing gellie.

Whenever I review products, I try to keep and open mind even if I've already read reviews on those products but, I still can't help but have certain expectations for products that have a lot of positive reviews. I figured I would test out three different combinations of styling products, each time using the the Sulfate Free Gentle Shampoo and Curl Assurance Daily Hair Conditioner.

I really like the Sulfate Free Gentle Shampoo. Its consistency, which is similar to just plain water, is kind of unusual for a shampoo. I usually expect shampoos to be thick and creamy. I was pleasantly surprised to see that you still get a lot of sudsing action even though the shampoo is not thick at all. As for the Daily and Moisturizing hair conditioners, both did condition my hair, but the results were average and typical of other conditioners I have tried.

Test#1 - Hibiscus and Banana deep fix - moisturizing conditioner + Curl Assurance Aloe Fix Hair Styling gel

This combination didn't really do much for my hair. I didn't get good clumps and using a gel to hold the non-clumping just left me with limp semi-wavy hair. It also made the more straighter sections of my hair even straighter. I might have to try this combination again but, use different amounts of each product and see if my results differ.

Test #2 - Coffee Coco Curl Creme by itself

I was expecting this to be my favorite of the bunch because of how heavily it's been discussed on It's also supposed to do the job of both a leave-in conditioner and a gel which I love because it cuts down on the amount of products I have to buy and apply. The Coffee Coco Curl Creme moisturized my hair and gave me good clumping, but the clumps were falling towards the end of the day. I think next time I'll have to use more product. I used a light hand this time thinking too much would weigh my hair down.

Test#3 - Hibiscus and Banana deep fix - moisturizing conditioner + Curl Assurance smoothing gellie

This was my favorite combination of the three I tried. It gave me lot of clumps and good hold without the crunchiness. I even tried it out at a birthday party picnic with high humidity and temperatures close to 90 degF. By the end of the day, I did have some friziness but, this combination still responded better to the humidity than other products I've tried. I'm still searching for a product that totally protects my hair-do from humidity. order from my most favorite combo to my least favorite combo..I would have to go with Hibiscus and Banana deep fix - moisturizing conditioner + Curl Assurance smoothing gellie, Coffee Coco Curl Creme by itself, and finally Hibiscus and Banana deep fix - moisturizing conditioner + Curl Assurance Aloe Fix Hair Styling gel.

I spoke to Marsha of Curl Junkie about the results I got (she's really great about discussing issues you might have with Curl Junkie products and giving recommendations) and she said she normally doesn't recomend the Hibiscus and Banana deep fix - moisturizing conditioner as a leave-in for people with my hair texture because it's usually too heavy but she's happy it worked for me. She also suggested trying the Curl Assurance Aloe Fix Hair Styling gel alone on wet hair or Coffee Coco Curl Creme + Curl Assurance Aloe Fix Hair Styling gel. If you have these products and you aren't getting the results you want, you might want to try Marsha's recommendations.

Another thing I really like about these products, other than the scents, is that some of them are multi-purpose. For example, the Hibiscus and Banana deep fix - moisturizing conditioner can be used as a rinse-out, deep or leave-in conditioner. I'm definitely one for saving money and getting the most out of a product.

I also mentioned to her that a lot of people, including me, dislike buying products online because of shipping costs. She said she's "slowly but surely" adding retail locations where Curl Junkie products can be purchased. Currently, they can be purchased at Back to the Lands Natural Foods in Brooklyn, NY, Lin's Beauty Supply in Little Elm, TX, and Honeyfig in Ontario, Canada but, be on the lookout for a retail location close to you in the near future.

Friday, May 8, 2009

AG Hair Products

I had the opportunity to test out AG Hair products. I have heard of them before because many of the members of use and love the Re:coil Curl Activating Balm. I was sent the Re:coil Curl Activating Shampoo, Re:coil Curl Activating Conditioner, and Re:coil Curl Activating Balm to review. The shampoo is sulfate-free. The conditioner contains some of the heavy silicones such as cyclopentasiloxane and dimethicone. It also contains Amodimethicone which is a slightly water soluble silicone. The balm does not contain silicones. Because the conditioner contained silicones I wanted to test out the balm by itself then test all three together.

Experiment #1 was the Re:coil Curl Activating Balm by itself. I cowashed with Suave Naturals conditioner then conditioned with Aubrey Organics Honeysuckle Rose conditioner. The way this balm works is similar to how Kinky Curly Curling Custard works which made me think the Re:coil balm would work better if I had applied a leave-in conditioner before the Re:coil balm.

The reason I say that the Re:coil balm works similar to Kinky Curly Curling Custard is because as it dried it seemed like it would dry crunchy but, once it was fully dry you were left with defined, NOT crunchy waves. However, I still thought it would have been better layered with a leave-in conditioner.

In this picture, my hair wasn't 100% dry but fairly dry. I get too lazy to blowdry my hair and I figure the warmer weather is perfect for air drying my hair.
Experiment #2. In the next pictures, I used Kinky Curly Knot Today leave-in before applying Re:coil Curl Activating Balm. I figured since Kinky Curly Curling Custard works well with Knot Today leave-in conditioner and is similar to Re:coil balm then the Re:coil balm would work well with Knot Today leave-in. I actually prefer this combination to just using the Re:coil balm alone.

Experiment #3.
This time I used the shampoo, conditioner, and balm together. I also used the Kinky Curly Knot Today leave-in. I liked this combination also but, it wouldn't work for those who are strictly following the Curly Girl method because the conditioner does contain silicones as I mentioned above.
In summary, the AG Hair products worked well with my hair but, I also needed a separate leave-in conditioner in order to achieve the results I wanted. The Re:coil balm alone just didn't give me the defintion that I was looking for but, once you added a leave-in conditioner, it worked really well. It worked as well as Kinky Curly Curling Custard which is a favorite among the wavies and curlies. The shampoo is sulfate-free which is a definite plus. For those of you who don't fear the silicone, the conditioner also works great.

Nine Naturals Giveaway winner

Congratulations to Courtney Yarberry - winner of the Nine Naturals giveaway which includes a Nine Naturals set of shampoo and conditioner! Thank you Courtney and everyone who participated. I have another giveaway lined up and this time it may possibly have multiple winners so stay tuned.

Friday, May 1, 2009

I smell a giveaway...

Contest is now closed. Winner will be announced shortly. Thank you to everyone that participated.

The founder of Nine Naturals hair care line, Nicole Shariat, has generously offered to give away a Nine Naturals set of shampoo and conditioner. Her products are tailored towards moms-to-be but, if you look closely, many of her products are what most of you are looking for - products that DO NOT contain pthalates, parabens, sulfates and DEA. All Nine Naturals products contain nine or fewer truly natural ingredients, not "psuedo-natural" products that try to hide their chemicals behind words such as botanical, natural and organic. All Nine Naturals products are also certified vegan.

You don't have to be expecting a baby to enter this give away. You just have to want hair care products that are 100% natural that DO NOT contain harsh or harmful ingredients and chemicals.

Check out the Nine Naturals website for more information.

Contest rules:
1. Any reader that posts a comment AND sends me an email with the subject line saying "Nine Naturals giveaway - [insert name that you used to leave a comment here]" This allows me to track down the winner easier. My email address is
2. Contest is open to US and Canadian readers.
3. Winner will be chosen randomly.
4. Contest ends at 12:00 PM EST on Friday, May 8, 2009.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Let me break out the Pledge...

And dust off my blog. I have so many posts in my head that just need to get written down. I have some product reviews, including AG hair products (most known for AG recoil), Curl Junkie products and Arrojo products, that I have to get around to. I have the products, tested them out, taken the pictures but, I just need to sit down and actually write it out. I also have another giveaway coming either the end of this week or beginning of next week.

Blended Beauty sent me a cute sample bag which contained most of their popular products. One of the first things I do when I receive products is smell them. I'm very sensitive too smells. Blended Beauty products have that natural, woodsy scent going on a la Carol's Daughter's and Ojon products. The scent is strong and will linger in your hair the whole day. I categorize scents as perfumey, fruity, natural, and food-like (usually products that smell like desserts such as cake). There are probably scents that I haven't encountered yet that don't fit those categories but, a majority of the products I've smelled do fall in those 4 catgeories.

In my sample bag I received the Soy Cream Shampoo, Curl Quenching Conditioner, Light Styling Lotion, Kicks for Curls, Silkshake, Curly Frizz Pudding and an instruction booklet. I haven't had a chance to try some of the products because some of them are used on 2nd day hair and I usually wash my hair everyday. I cowashed with Suave Naturals, conditioned with Curl Quenching conditioner, and styled with the light styling lotion and Curly Frizz Pudding.
My hair was a bit tangly when I took this picture. The day I tested out some of the products was the day of my friend's "winging" for the Navy. Keep in mind this picture was taken at night. I think my hair held up pretty well for a warm day where I was sweating and running around (the room where they held the ceremony was kind of warm) and I also had my windows down when I was driving.

Blended Beauty products are very moisturizing. They don't have a lot of hold but, do give me some definition. I wouldn't call it heavy clumping though. If you want to style your waves or curls but, want them to have looser definition, these products would work for you.

Since I last blogged, I've past two milestones in my life. One being my 29th birthday and the other completing a half-marathon.

I felt like I celebrated my birthday all week. It might be the most I've ever celebrated my birthday. I celebrated at work twice (once actually at work and once at a hibachi restaurant), at Cheesecake Factory, at my boyfriend's mom's house, and at a bar and club on the weekend. I even had two birthday cakes. I'm not writing to brag about how much I celebrated my birthday but, to talk about how much all of that meant to me. I don't like to talk about my personal life that much on public sites but, some days, especially during holidays or special occasions, I feel kind of alone. I have a really big family but, my parents, brother, aunties, uncles and cousins are all out of state and not really at driveable locations either. I'm not close to the family that I do have nearby because of drama that I won't get into. When I say "not close", it's pretty much like we're strangers. My grandparents are close by also but their favorite past time is staying at home. I've been lucky enough to basically be "adopted" by one of my best friend's family and my boyfriend's family. My best friend's family is my 2nd family and her parents have always been there for me like my own parents have. My boyfriend's family is forever feeding me. If you see how much I eat, you know that can be costly. I have a couple close friends nearby but, again as life does to everyone, most of my close friends are miles and states away. I can't seem to find the words to end this rambling but, basically my Facebook status that I had posted up during my birthday week should sum it up, "[I'm] grateful for all the blessings that God has given me but most grateful for all the people He has brought into my life." I can't express how happy and thankful I was for everything that was done for my birthday. Thank you to everyone who celebrated and made me feel that I do have family here. Thank you to my family, who are some of the nicest people you'll meet, my boyfriend, who never ceases to make me happy, all my friends - new and old, both sides of my boyfriend's family who are always taking care of me, and my coworkers. Let me end this with some birthday pictures before someone offers me some cheese with that whine.

Celebrating at work. Yes, I know I'm dressed like a mechanic and No, I can't fix your car. The other day, someone in my neighborhood asked me if I was a professional dog sitter because I was always walking my dog at the same time dressed in my work uniform.
Celebrating at my boyfriend's mom's house. We had no idea she was planning anything. My boyfriend even took me out to dinner to Cheesecake Factory and his mom just told us to stop by. When we got to her house, there was all this food. I wish I could have eaten more because everything was so good but, we had gotten an appetizer, main meal and dessert at Cheesecake Factory.
My final celebration which happened to be the same day as the half marathon. I had to take a nap before we left that night. Blowing out my "candle" that was actually a steak knife.
Look at the size of this carrot cake that the restaurant gives out for birthdays.
The ladies. I was cracking up hard in the first picture.
I had fun that night but, took me a long time to recover.

Like I said above, I completed my half marathon earlier that day. That's the longest distance I've run so far - 13.2 miles. I started struggling at mile 10. It was also the first time I ran with an Ipod. The night before I had just dumped a bunch of songs on a playlist that I thought would be good for running. I might have to reevaluate my playlist though. Stay by Lisa Loeb doesn't hype you up as much as you think it would when all you feel like doing is rolling yourself into a ball and resting for a bit on the side of the road.

Here's a pic of me and my boyfriend at the halfway point, between miles 6 and 7. I look rough.
I think my pose for my next race will be one of these two.

Now that I've completed the half marathon, I've come to realize that I went about my training the wrong way. Forget building up your endurance and speed and increasing your mileage by 10% each week. All you need to do is keep your adrenaline up the whole race. That rush will enable you to complete your fastest mile EVER. Take for instance what happened to me. I'm running the half marathon, staying on the side of the road closest to the trees. Of course, because you are close to the woods, they are required to put up signs warning you about surrounding wildife, including bears. I'm getting in the groove, listening to my T.I., reggaeton and occasional soft rock songs, when out of nowhere this bear comes out of the woods ready to attack me.
I jumped, said "Holy Crap, Oh shoot", and sprinted with the quickness only to find the other people running next to me were laughing. (I like to think with me not at me). That's when I realized the bear was actually a very realistic, very life-like statue. I really think I'm on to something here. Imagine if you're running a race where you are constantly fearing for your life. Don't you think you'd end up with your best race times?

My goal was to a.) Finish the half marathon without having to be carried over the finish line and b.) Complete it within 2.5 hours.

Here are the details of my race sent to me by the race officials.

Your time 2:23:29.06 gave you a 10:57 pace per mile.

Your 3M time was 32:06.57 for a pace of 10:42 per mile
Your 6M time was 1:02:16.25 for a pace of 10:03 per mile
Your 10M time was 1:46:10.59 for a pace of 10:59 per mile

They really aren't impressive times especially considering when I was at 3.5 miles the winners of the race were on the way back to the finish line but, it was just a personal goal I can finally check off my list and I'm happy to have completed it without hurting myself. The boyfriend and I are planning on running a full marathon this year. I will definitely have to train for that.

Images courtesy of:

Friday, April 17, 2009

I don't mean to brag but....

I'm addicted to the Scramble game app. I just recently discovered that you could play against other players online. I have a somewhat competitive streak in me. Something just comes over me when it comes to games - kickball, baby shower games, tetris, my company volleyball game, dodgeball, buffet eating, etc. It doesn't even have to be against other people. I'm always trying to beat my own score at most games.