Thursday, August 8, 2013

My 7 "Must Have" Summer Products

So I notice that every few months, I have a new set of “go to” products.  I thought that I would share my summertime products.  All are pregnant (according to my doctor -- check with yours if you have any concerns) and non-pregnant girl friendly.

Olay Pro-X Advanced Cleansing Brush
$22 on Amazon
I bought this brush out of desperation.  My face was a mess (flashback to a previous post), yet I wasn’t willing to spend $200+ on one of the high end facial brushes (like the Clarisonic brushes).  After doing some research and watching a lot of YouTube reviews, I was convinced that the Olay brush was just as good.  I have been really pleased and have seen a huge difference in the look and texture of my skin.  I tend to forget to exfoliate once a week, so at least by using this, I am removing some dead skin cells on a daily basis.

DermaQuest Anti-Bacterial Enzyme Cleanser
$21 on Amazon
This stuff right here is a miracle worker.  My waxer suggested it since I was having a lot of skin issues during my 2nd trimester.  I wish I had known about this way before I got pregnant.  After just a few days of using this product, my skin was clear and has been ever since.  I wash my face twice a day using the Olay brush and I couldn’t be happier.  If you are prone to breakouts, I highly suggest this cleanser. It will not leave our face dry like some acne cleansers.
Carol’s Daughter Sexy Belly
2 for $22 from Carol’s Daughter
No woman, pregnant or not, wants to deal with dreaded stretch marks.  I admit that my body is not stretch mark free due to my fluctuating weight that finally stabilized before I got married and pregnant (go figure).   Anyways, I tend to be skeptical of stretch mark fading/preventing creams and potions but my good friend told me to use this every day the minute I found out I was pregnant.  I am happy to report that so far (*knocking on wood*), I don’t have any new stretch marks.  Now whether this is because of Sexy Belly or genetics, I don’t know, but I can tell you that I will keep using this stuff every day.   This product also is supposed to prevent stretch marks, so I encourage every to give it a try. I will be using it post pregnancy.  The price tag isn’t horrible so if after one jar you aren’t happy, sell the other on eBay :o).

Aveda Brillant Anti-Humectant Pomade
$20 at Aveda
I've always loved this product.  Whether I am wearing my hair straight or trying to maintain the length of a dry twist out, the anti-humectant pomade is great.  Don't let the word "pomade" fool you.  It has the texture of a light grease and a little goes a long ways.  Since I have left my natural out on my sides and in the back for the current weave I am wearing, I use this to help my hair from reverting.  I think this should be a staple in your collection if you are natural or relaxed.

Burt's Bees Coconut Foot Cream
This stuff is the truth. In full disclosure, I work for the company that owns Burt's Bees, but I still paid full price for this product and will continue to do so. It smells great and will bring anyone's dry feet back to life. It goes on a little greasy at first, but it will soak in, leaving your feet super soft and hydrated. It is light enough to use during the summer and still works great when the weather turns cold. And it is by a brand that is known for wonderful natural products.

NARS The Multiple in Maui
$39 at Sephora
First of all, I am obsessed with anything made by NARS. The colors really compliment all skin tones and the products are high quality. I own NARS lip sticks, glosses, and a tinted moisturizer. I've never felt like the price wasn't justified. Since I've pretty much given up on wearing make up, the stick is an easy way for me to get a little color on cheeks in under a minute. It glides on easy like a cream, blends well, and drys like a powder. The color lasts all day long. I'm tempted to try another color... maybe G-Spot or Orgasm (got to love the names).

Anastasia Brow Wiz in Brunette
$21 at Sephora
I love thick, full brows. This pencil is soft and delivers just enough coverage to fill in your brows where they are sparse. I promise your eyebrows won't look painted on. They will look amazing and full.

Have you used any of these products?  Share your thoughts!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

(Somewhat) irrational hair thought of the moment

So for the past few months, I have been trying very hard to avoid the reality of labor and delivery.  And let me tell you, this stage of pregnancy has been hard to avoid.  I swear every BabyCenter newsletter has a whole section dedicated to "live births" or people want to volunteer the details of their traumatic experience.  So you ask, why am I trying to avoid all of this and remain in a state of ignorant bliss?  Quite simply, it scares the crap out of me.  The pain, the hospital, the fact that anything can happen...all of it.  I miss the days of believing the stork brought my little brother to our house.

But one thing I keep thinking about is holding my beautiful little girl and our first moments together.  So I'm giving you fair warning to laugh at me or think I'm some crazy pregnant lady but I wonder, is it wrong if the first glimpses my child eventually gets of me are weavealicous vs. natural?

Again, I prefaced this all with the fact that this thought is probably super irrational, trivial, silly, etc., but it is one that I keep thinking about.  Probably because my hair is one of few things that I an actually control.  Am I some type of a fraud if she sees me with with my weave and lashes (oh yes, lash extensions are my latest obsession -- post coming about that)?  Or should I be stripped down and natural like her?

I'm leaning towards the weave because I can only imagine how my natural hair would look after hours of labor.... it wouldn't be cute.  And maybe I am slightly vain for wanting to look somewhat decent when my child comes into the world.  It would be nice to have a fresh pedicure and for my hair to look presentable.

And quite frankly, I can't be the only one who has had this thought.  I know that some woman have full make up on, fresh for those post delivery pictures with their little bundle of joy.  Soo poo on you if you are judging me!  I'm just writing down what some people are thinking about :o).

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Featured on BuzzFeed - DIY Maternity Outfits

My friend passed along this great post from BuzzFeed.  I had to share!

Image from BuzzFeed

Friday, July 26, 2013

Pregnancy Hair & Skin Advice

I’m 29 weeks today!  Part of me is screaming “YAY” and the other part of me is screaming “Oh s$*&, I’m not ready yet!”  But as I enter the last phase of my pregnancy, I have been reflecting on the journey not only my body has been through, but the journey my hair and skin have both experienced.  I thought that I would share some advice for others who are pregnant or thinking about getting pregnant because I found that a lot of what I was reading in books and on the Internet, caused me more stress than help.  As always I am going to keep it real, which may result in some TMI moments.

Your skin may freak out.  If you are prone to breakouts when you are on your period, your face will probably go ape s&*% crazy when you get pregnant.
  • Take it from me, facials do nothing so don’t waste your money.  My face was HORRIBLE so I immediately ran to my esthetician.  After 3 times of spending at least $100 per session, my face still looked a hot mess.  The breakouts are caused by the hormones running through your body.  So your face may look good for a day or two, but eventually you will look a mess again.
  • Talk to your doctor about what products are safe.  Do NOT rely on the Internet.  A lot of the stuff I banned from my bathroom for months due to all of the Mommy boards scaring the crap out of me, turned out to be perfectly safe in my doctor’s opinion.
  • Drink a lot of water.  I’ve always drank a lot of water, but at one point during my first trimester, my skin was super dry, so stay hydrated!
  • Keep your hands out of your face.
  • Wash your face twice a day.  You can't do much about your hormones, but you can keep your face dirt and oil free as much as possible.
  • Do not wear a ton of make-up.  I never wore a lot of makeup before all hell broke loose on my face.  But after waking up several times, looking at myself in the mirror, and crying, I felt like the only thing I could do was to cover it up with make-up.  Not only did this probably make matters worse, but I brought more attention upon myself because of my sudden use of make-up.  If you can’t imagine leaving the house with a bare face, at least keep things light and just use powder or a light tinted moisturizer.
  • Do not beat yourself up.  Your body is doing amazing things to grow your beautiful baby.  In the grand scheme of things, your breakouts are truly a blip on the radar and are temporary.  By the middle of the second trimester, my skin went back to normal for the most part.
Your hair will grow like crazy but you probably won't feel like doing it.  Non pregnant people still ask me, “Why do you have a weave? Your hair has grown so much!”  I tell them until they have been pregnant and understand how incredibly tired I am, especially during the 1st trimester, do not say this to me.  The last thing I feel like doing is my hair and I don’t want the health of my hair to suffer.  Wearing a weave has been a lifesaver.  Granted I still need to take great care of my hair, but it doesn't take me nearly as long to do my hair on a weekly and daily basis.  Pick a protective hair style that will be easy for you maintain and make you feel great.

Your hair will grow like crazy...everywhere.  You will become besties with your waxer but eventually you will probably not care anymore because you won’t be able to see anything below your hips.  The moment when I discovered I could no longer comfortably bend down to shave my legs, was quite humbling and amusing.  My advice - wear pants or maxi dresses and keep it moving.

I can laugh now because I am not longer in the moment or just don’t care anymore.  But I am willing to endure anything for my baby girl!  Would love to hear any skin and hair tips from pregnant lovelies or moms!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Impulse decision

So big news first. My husband and I are expecting! The little peanut will be making his/her debut in October. Around the date of my last post is when I found out… needless to say life has been a whirlwind since then.

I was extremely tired during my first trimester (luckily that’s the only real symptom I experienced) and had a hard time keeping up with my hair. So I turned to a weave and that helped me out a lot. I figured it was better to take care of a weave properly, rather than risk damage to my natural hair by not giving it the time it needed.

So on Sunday after yoga, I had the bright idea to take my weave out because I missed my natural hair. My hair has always grown pretty fast and I always heard that your hair grows like crazy you are pregnant due to hormones and the prenatal vitamins, but I was not ready for the amount of hair I discovered. I was overwhelmed with the amount of hair on my head and I am at a loss for what to do with it.  I feel like I am starting my natural journey all over again.

I carefully removed my weave and washed/conditioned my hair like usual. I made an impulse purchase at Target and purchased Jane Carter’s Hair NourishingCream and used it as a heat protectant before I blew out my hair. I am very happy with the product and highly recommend it, despite the price tag (~$17). My hair was soft and had a nice shine when I was done. Later that night, I curled my hair on grey and purple flexi rods using some Natural Oasis hair oil

The next morning I had big, fluffy, textured curls. Now what do I do?  Besides a bun and two strand twists, I am fresh out of ideas. I know I should leave the heat alone and style my hair wet, but did I mention I was pregnant and tired? 
Day 1

Day 2

Monday, January 14, 2013

1 Week Curlformer Review + New Style Obsession

I thought that I would include a slideshow of my week of looks, courtesy of my Curlformers set.  I have to admit that I was bummed on day 2 and 3 when the curls started to not look as "crisp" but Curlformers are awesome for stretching!  I rocked a big, fluffy, twist out for days.  And working out didn't ruin my hair.  I usually end up with terrible shrinkage after a rough workout, but the 3 strand twist out really saved my hair.  And again, I want to reiterate that I didn't use any heat on my hair.

So once my curls started to poof, my thought was to rely on a 2 strand twist out.  But as I was perusing YouTube, I discovered the 3 strand twist *gasp* - my new style obsession.  It really sounds more complicated than it is.  You are literally twisting your hair, like a rope, with 3 strands.  You just have to be careful not to braid your hair.  Check out a great tutorial from MsKelabug:

MsKelabug's video is great and her hair is beautiful!

Yesterday, I planned on doing a 3 strand twist on wet hair, but I'm "chasing [the style] dragon" this week and decided to use Curlformers again.  I've really gotten the technique down and my second attempt took only 45 minutes.  I would love to hear about your Curlformer storiy!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Elisa shared an Instagram photo with you

Hi there,

Elisa just shared an Instagram photo with you:

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"Bangs + Poof = airport 'do #teamnatural "

The Instagram Team

Friday, January 11, 2013

Elisa shared an Instagram photo with you

Hi there,

Elisa just shared an Instagram photo with you:

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"Stay tuned for a post about my lastest style obsession... 3 strand twists. #teamnatural "

The Instagram Team

Just happy and nappy

When I first started blogging about my transitioning journey, I never (1) thought that I would be able to go completely natural, (2) that I would still be natural almost 6 years later, and (3) that I would have fallen so in love with natural hair.

It is clear that a lot of things have changed in my life.  I went to business school, moved across the country, and most importantly, I married the absolute love of my life.  But my hair journey continues to changed as well.  I am no longer trying to go "from dyed and fried to happy and nappy".  Instead, I am "just happy and nappy".

Now some people have a problem with the word "nappy".  My hair is tightly curled or coiled.  I love my hair.  So yup, I am just happy and nappy.

I hope you will continue to follow me as I continue on my ever evolving hair and life journey.  Here's to a new year, new beginnings, and all things happy and nappy!

Follow me on Instagram: @kabobbell

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

BluePrint Juice Cleanse

BluePrint Cleanses.  Renovation Level.
Hello lovelies!  So a few days ago, I completed 3 days of the Renovation level of the BluePrint cleanse (BPC).  I've tried to do a fruit and veggie cleanse in the past and I ended up not being able to handle it (you can search on my blog for "cleanse" to check out some old posts).  I was determined to get through just 3 days of a juice cleanse as a way to purge my system of my holiday "fun" and to get myself back on track.  Before my wedding, I was in the zone and I just want to get back to that state of mind.  What I wasn't determined about, was the price.  

A good quality juice cleanse isn't cheap.  I spent weeks researching different companies across the country, only to find they were all around the same price.  I lucked up on a Rue La La "sale" and got the BPC 3 day cleanse for $155 + $30 for shipping, roughly making each juice $10.  The juices are also sold at Whole Foods for about the same price, but I liked the idea of having super fresh juice, sent to me all at once (it is shipped overnight via FedEx).  And plus, there is no guarantee that Whole Foods will have each juice that you want.

So I am not going to try and sell you on the benefits of juicing.  I'm only going to share my experience. I think so many people are curious about how I did it because I am not shy about my love of food and if  I don't eat every 2 hours, I am cranky, mean, bitchy... etc.  Which is probably why my husband wasn't too thrilled about me doing this.  So here goes.  I tried to keep a diary to detail when I drank each juice and how I was feeling, as well as the weight loss I experienced.  Just a warning, it is clear that I am an over-sharer, so if poop grosses you out, it is mentioned below.  You have been warned :).


  1. Green Juice - Kale, Apple, Ginger, Romaine, Spinach, Cucumber, Celery, Parsley, Lemon
  2. PAM (my second favorite) - Pineapple, Apple, Mint
  3. Green Juice - Kale, Apple, Ginger, Romaine, Spinach, Cucumber, Celery, Parsley, Lemon
  4. Spicy Lemonade - Lemon, Cayenne, Agave
  5. CAB - Beet, Apple, Carrot, Lemon, Ginger
  6. Cashew Milk (my favorite) - Cashew, Vanilla, Cinnamin, Agave

Day 1
Until 10:30 a.m. - As instructed by BPC, I snacked on apple slices, water, and herbal tea until my juices arrived.
10:30 a.m. - #1.  Has a very strong parsley smell but the actual taste isn't overwhelmingly parsley.
12 p.m. - #2. Very refreshing and not overly sweet.
2 p.m. - #3.  Note to self.  Don't let the green juice get too warm...
4:43 p.m. - I'm feeling kind of light headed.  Why did i do this again?  Drank some water as I was leaving the office to hold me over a bit longer.
5:15 p.m. - #4.  This is good, but I wish it was spicier.
7 p.m. - I am not a huge fan of this one but it is much better than I thought.
9 p.m. - LOVE the cashew milk but it does get oddly lumpy towards the end.

Day 2
***Down 3 pounds***
7 a.m. - Drank warm water with lemon and I'm actually not hungry, but I am kind of gassy (sorry TMI, you were warned).  No poo this morning so I am drink some laxative tea (I really like Smooth Move).
8:49 a.m. - #1
11:11 a.m. - #2
1:25 p.m. - #3
3:30 p.m. - Time for some laxative tea.
5:00 p.m. - #4. Starting to feel light headed so I guess it was time for a juice.
8:00 p.m. - #5.  Sigh.  Still feeling light headed a bit. 
10 p.m. - #6.  Thank God!  Time for cashew milk!
Midnight - Bedtime

Day 3
***Down 1.4 pounds***
7 a.m. - Chamomile with lemon and then some warm water with lemon.  Still no poo.  WTF!
9 a.m. - #1
10:09 a.m. - Poo!  Finally!
11: 15 a.m. - #2
2:00 p.m. - #3
4:30 p.m. - #4.  Now I seem to have the hang of this...
7:14 p.m. - #5
10 p.m. - #6.  Wow.  I really did it.  I will miss the cashew milk though.

When I woke up the next day, I was down another pound, so I lost a total of ~5 pounds and I was back to my pre-holiday weight.  Woohoo!

Follow me on Instagram: @kabobbell

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Curlformers: Attempt #1

Right now I am in the phase of falling in love with my natural hair all over again.  I was uber lazy this week and rocked a giant poof.  So I think it is time to try some new things especially since my hair is a lot longer.

Enter Curlformers.

I've been very skeptical about these curly things and the price tag ($70ish) didn't help either.  But I said, f*** it and bought the styling kit from Sally's.

At first I was skeptical and didn't think that I was going to end up with smooth curls because of my tight curl pattern.  But things turned out well!

  1. Pre-Poo: Avocado Oil.  20 minutes.  No heat.
  2. Cleanse: SheaMoisture Thickening Shampoo. Since I am not longer taking my Alopecia medicine, my dermatologist prescribed an oil treatment for my scalp.  For that reason, I am experimenting using a gentle shampoo to make sure my scalp is properly cleansed vs. cowashing.
  3. Deep condition: SheaMoisture Anti-Breakage Masque + Avocado Oil + Olive Oil.  30 minutes with a plastic cap and towel on my head.  No heat.

  1. Detangle: Kinky Curly Knot Today
  2. Hold: Kinky Curly Spiral Spritz
  3. Installed Curlformers.  This took me a little over an hour simply because I didn't know what I was doing.  When I was done, I went to bed and when I woke up my hair was completely dry.  I did sleep in a scarf too in order to keep the front Curlformers off of my face.  It wasn't horrible sleeping in these things, but I didn't get solid sleep.

Finished Product

My hair is SUPER soft and the curls are pretty damn smooth.  My ends on some curls are so so but I think it is because I used too much hair for that particular curl.  I must say that I am impressed.  Now I did miss a few small pieces here and there, but for my first time, I think I did a pretty good job.  Here are a few tips:

  1. Twist you hair at the root so you can easily hook it and pull through the Curlformer.
  2. Use small sections.  I found that if I used too much hair for a curl, it was hard to pull through the Curlformer.
  3. Resist the temptation to mess with your curls a lot.  I wish I had just left them as is and separated them  in a few days.
This may be my new 'do for the next few weeks!

Follow me on Instagram: @kabobbell