These are a few of my favorite things

Have you ever gone through periods of time where you've been really into something? Seems like I'm always going though phases where I'm infatuated with one thing or another.  Today, I'd like to share are few of my favorites that I'm currently obsessed with. 

Nutrient Rich Seaweed Snacks//


There's an Asian grocery store not too far from me.  They carry all types of spices and delicacies from the far east.  Me? I go there for my gluten free soy sauce and lifetime supplies of toasted seaweed sheets.


These crispy treats are so addictive it's not even funny.  Years ago I wrote about the benefits of eating super green foods like seaweed.  After reading so many accounts of women who had lovely hair and shared that they ate a lot of seaweed, I was convinced.  My obsession with these roasted seaweed snacks started out as means by which I could create healthier hair.  But I would continue to enjoy them even if  they weren't loaded with vitamins and minerals.  But they are good for me so it's even better!  If you haven't tried these, you've been depriving yourself.

MASON JARS//


I was at the checkout line the other day when my eyes just happen to land on a case of mason jars.  Normally, I wouldn't  be affected by such a sight.   If it hadn't been for the experience at an indie hangout where I was served my mojito from a jar, I wouldn't have made this purchase.  Drinking out of a jar was so enjoyable that I couldn't resist recreating the experience at home with bamboo tea.  This weekend I whipped up a batch of  tea and infused it with lemon.  It was so perfect.  My husband seemed to like it as much as me so we refilled the jar several  times over the course of the day. 

BLENDTEC BLENDER//


Next on my list is this nifty Blendtec blender that I picked up on a trip to Sam's Club. I went in there for one thing and walked out with a state of the art blender. The Blendtec is supposed to rival the Vitamix Blender which is said to be the best in the world.  Me and this other lady were pretty much sold the product by a guy who did a live in store demo.  Later she told me that she only came in to get a hot dog for her daughter and herself.  What sold us is how many options available with this amazing machine. The guy blended ice cream, soup, green juice, fruit smoothies.  After purchasing I walked over to their produce section and was approached by one of the employees at Sam's who proudly told me that I wouldn't regret the purchase.  He went on to say that he's had his Blendtec for years and enjoyed a smoothie for breakfast that morning.  After a week past I had buyers remorse but once I was able to make an avocado smoothie that tastes as good as the Vietnamese restaurant up the street, I knew that this new toy was a keeper.  The best part of this purchase was the recipe book. I hope to share some of the recipes with you in the future. 

YSL SHADOW QUAD//


The last thing on my current faves list is this Pure Chromatics eye shadow quad from Yves Saint Lauren.  I purchased after having received the best makeup session of my life.  Seriously, never has anyone done my makeup where I didn't run to the restroom and wash it off immediately after the reveal.  She did such an amazing job that I purchased eye shadow knowing that I'd never be able to recreate her work of art.  Even though I couldn't create the look, these colors are still my favorite for everyday looks. I've got tons of eye shadow at home (and I mean tons of it). But the quality of the YSL brand can not be compared.  I just love the shimmer it gives without being all glittery.  I look forward to adding more colors from that brand to my collection in the future.


Chronicles of a Natural Apostolic: More Graduation Pics

So I did some fun photos for my invitations with my sister Courtney and best friend Misha. We had SO much fun! Misha did the photography and Courtney did the "props" and "staging" haha. I love it. We laughed through the entire thing :)

California State University, Fullerton
Class of 2013









 WOO! I have a few more pics on my camera that I will get around to sharing. These are my favorites though ♥ Congrats to all who will be graduating in May/June!




IMAN BB Skin Tone Evener Creme

Finally able to get my hands on the new Iman BB Creme.  I heard about the release of this product late last year but had the hardest time finding it in stores until recently.

I already owned Maybeline's Dream Fresh BB Cream but I longed for Iman's brand because I just knew I would find a better match for my skin tone.


And boy was I right.  I picked up the darkest shade called Earth Deep and instantly knew I made the right decision the moment I tested the cream on my hand.  The color is very similar to my Makeup Forever HD Foundation which is my perfect match.  Makeup Forever gives me high coverage which makes my skin look darn near flawless whenever I apply.  I tend to save it for when I go out or other special occasions. 

Iman's BB Creme provides medium coverage for me.  Not as much as the Makeup Forever yet more coverage than my Dream Fresh. It is somewhat buildable meaning that I can reapply to certain areas where my blemishes are a bit more obvious and get a bit more coverage.  With the exception of a lower SPF factor, the Iman BB Creme seems to be a better choice over Maybeline because of a better color match and higher coverage.  Another advantage Iman has are the integration of natural ingredients such as aloe, grape seed oil, sweet almond oil, vitamin E, and various extracts. 


For those of us who aren't that familiar with BB Cream. Basically, it's an all in one product that moisturizes, color corrects, and protects the skin from UV rays.  So instead of using a sun screen, a moisturizer, primer, foundation, etc. One applies a BB Cream and is ready to go.  BB Creme is great for those of us who wants something light on their skin that takes care of multiple roles at once.


This product is perfect for me because I don't wear a ton of makeup.  Iman's BB Creme isn't heavy on the skin.  Feels like I have nothing on.  Some days I'm short on time and run out of the door with nothing on my face.  When that happens, all I do is whip out my little BB Creme tube and moments later, my blemishes are covered and my skin is protected from the sun.  Simple and easy.  This BB Creme give me a little bit a glow which may have something to do with the oils in the ingredient list.  For those of you who have oily skin, you have the option of finishing with a powder to complete your look.

Iman, I want to thank you for creating this line of product.  I travel quite a bit and having one easy to carry product that does it all is truly a dream come true.


Question of the Week: Transitioning- Frustration with Breakage

Question:

First off I'm so glad I found your blog. A young in my church told me about you and your journey and let me say it'd truly inspiring!!

I'm transitioning and I'm 6 months post! I'm having a very hard time finding the right products to moisturize my hair. I watch product reviews on YouTube for hours just trying to find the best products. I've tried Shea moisture, Karen's body beautiful, Bask Beauty, Curly Kinks, Darcy's Botanical, etc. Cowashing doesn't help and when I moisturize and seal by hair within 30 mins my hair dry again. I deep condition with moisture and protein to keep the balance but I'm having tons of breakage!! In my sink there's always tons of short broken off pieces of my relaxed hair. Honestly I'm just getting discouraged because I feel like I'm doing the right things but its getting me no where. Any suggestions? 

Thank you for your time!!

Answer: 


Unfortunately breakage- and at times tons of it- is part of the transition process. The best thing you can do is moisturize, deep condition often and be gentle. 

Let me ask, what are you currently using to wash and condition your hair? When I transitioned I found it important to use an organic shampoo and conditioner. It is less harsh (chemically) on your hair. I used Nourish Spa and Tea Tree Tingle- both found at Trader Joes. I only washed and conditioned once a week. I also deep conditioned every week. 

Also, when you want to see if a product truly works to moisturize your hair, you need to use it for at least 6 weeks. Because, as it seems to be the case, if you are beginning with severely dry hair, it will take some time to restore moisture. So take one product at a time, start a journal and pay attention to how your hair responds over time!

The method I use to moisturize is water + cream leave in conditioner + oil or butter. So I spritz with water, apply my leave in and seal in the moisture. It could be that you just aren't sealing in moisture. So I would advise picking up a leave in and bitter. Shea Moisture has a good leave in: their curl styling milk and you can use their curl enhancing smoothie to seal. 

I hope that this helps!! More than anything else, you just have to have patience. It takes time to nurse dry hair back to health. 

Let me know if you have any other questions!

Captivating Art!

















Gorgeous Artwork!



Thank you for sharing "Young Brian".

7 ways to fiercely rock the braided protective style

I'm telling you right now that I have no plans on wearing a plain ol' boring bun this spring & summer.  Protective styling is a high priority but that doesn't we have to settle for the basic bun.

In lieu of the bun, I'm going for jumbo braids.  This style can work on pretty much any length and looks absolutely fabulous.  Would you like to take a moment and become inspired to find your newest signature summer look?



With all the options available, how can anyone get bored?  What I also love about this style is that it can last several days with little to no manipulation. This style also give me the option of wearing my hair in loose waves once I've unbraided.

 Let's all join me in saying goodbye to the bland bun.






Style Points: Simple Flat Twist Out Bun

Hello there! As you know, I am a busy bee so when it comes to hair styles, I have to keep it short and sweet. So let me show you how I achieved this simple style using flat twists! For the best results, you will want to start on stretched hair. My hair was stretched with a bun.

 The night before:
  • Split your hair into 6 sections. 4 large sections in the back and two small sections in the front
  • Start with the first section:
    • Moisturize - I spritzed with water and sealed with grape seed oil (I had already moisturized with my leave in that morning) 
    • Flat twist and pin curl - secure pin curls with a bobby pin
  • Repeat steps on each section
  • Tie up your hair and go to bed
The next morning:

Remove the bobby pins
Take out the flat twists and gently separate your hair


Leave out a small section of the flat twist out in the front if you would like. Pull the rest back into a large bun. I use a scrunchie on my buns now so my hair isn't being pulled that tight. For this bun in particular, I just wrapped my hair around and secured with bobby pins. Because the hair is so stretched, it gives a blow dried look to the style.



Decide if you want a bang hanging, swept back or pulled into the bun. Whatever you like best. I added a headband for some flavor.



 And this is the completed look from the front!


Prep time: 15 minutes

Style time: 5-7 minutes

I would say that is a quick and easy style!

How would you modify this style? Do you ever stretch your hair with flat twists?