Style Obsession | The Embellished Sandal

4.20.2014


The warmer it gets, the more I tend reach for shoe choices that expose my feet.  I'm kinda of a simple gal opting for basics in the spring and summer.  Occasionally I may wear a fancy maxi dress but, for the most part, my outfits can use a little something extra to add a little glam to my looks.

This is precisely the reason why I'm officially on the hunt for an amazing pair of embellished sandals.  Incidentally, sandals are pretty much part of my uniform from now until fall comes back around, so why not rock a pair that make my feet look loved and adored?  If all the stars align, I hope to have a few pairs of "glammed-up sandals" in rotation by summer.  Even in jeans and a white tee, a perfect pair of pretty sandals can elevate my look from basic, to being one of those people who actually care what they look like when they leave the house.

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Beauty Nutrition Haul | It Works Nourishing Complex, Collagen and Chewable Biotin

4.16.2014

For as long as I can remember, I've always been a proponent of supporting a hair journey with proper diet and nutrition.  We've discussed everything from loaded smoothies to silica filled bamboo tea to antioxidant rich black rice.

My latest acquisition was a 30 day supply of It Works' hair, skin and nails complex.  It's from those same people who brought us the Body Wrap.  I was first made aware of this product at a friend's "Wrap Party."  A week later, she generously offered me a bottle to try.  I'm really excited because there are quite a few before and after pics on instagram where people seem to gain inches really quickly.  I'll dedicate a separate post on this product once I've tested it for a few weeks.

Somehow, I found myself wandering into in a GNC store the other day just to see if they had anything new and interesting.  The first thing that caught my eye was the last remaining package of Beauty Bursts.  Incidentally, they were running a "buy one get one 50% off sale."  Immediately, I ask the sales guy to check in the back for another package.  He comes back empty handed.  Instead of getting frustrated, I express gratitude to at least have the one.  Beauty Bursts are so tasty and I noticed a difference in my skin when I take them.  It's one of my favorite products because it satisfies my sweet tooth and supports my hair & skin.  I'm replacing my Kind Bars with these bursts whenever my sweet tooth starts acting up.  
Since they were all out of Beauty Bursts, I had to find a suitable substitute to get the lower price.  The sales guy asks me to walk up to the front with him where he introduces me to chewable biotin!  Immediately, I think back to when I first learned of hair, skin, and nail gummies through Instagram. After sampling one of the biotin chews I immediately make the purchase.  Tastes amazing!  And with 5,000 mcg of biotin per chew, it's like swallowing a biotin pill (but more pleasurable).  I almost feel guilty getting my hair, skin and nails fix by chewing on a piece of candy.

 By the time we hit 25, our bodies begin to lose about 1.25% of collagen production per year.  Collagen supplements act as a stimulant that helps our collagen building system to produce (regenerate) collagen at a faster rate.  When our body senses that addition of collagen in our blood stream (via supplementation), it interprets the influx of collagen as our body breaking down large amounts of collagen.  When this happens, it sends a signal to our body to produce more because it thinks our collagen stores are breaking down rapidly. So essentially it's a "stimulant" of sorts.  Our skin is comprised of 75% collagen so it's imperative that we maintain healthy levels to have the appearance of youthful skin.

The root of our hair is surrounded by a structure comprised of collagen. As our collagen production drops, our hair begins to thin.  The root also becomes weaker which can promote excess shedding (hair fall).  The claims of NeoCell is that taking collagen can actually thicken the hair shaft by 36-45%. One of the NeoCell representatives even threw out a challenge to have us cut one of our hair strands at the root.  Take collagen for serval months, then cut a new strand of hair and look at the difference in thickness.  He claims that we can visibly see a difference.   I reflect back to my hair analysis when the consultant was going on and on about how thick my hair is.  I wonder if my consistent collagen intake has anything to do with it.
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Hair Health | Addressing my "V" shaped ends.

4.15.2014

In all of my years of blogging this is the first post that ever came to me as a result of a dream.  The idea came to me as I was transitioning from dreamworld to reality.  It relates to a current hair concern that I'm dealing with.  The issue I'm referring to is the "V."  It's when you are experiencing length but instead of it being full thick, like a blunt cut or in the shape of a "U," your hair is in the the "V" shape giving your hair the look of a point.  I know that sometimes hair naturally grows that way.  But I think in my case, some of it has to do with damage in certain areas keeping it from growing in more fully.

Right now, my hair is pretty healthy.  Shedding is not an issue.  Breakage has slowed down immensely.  I can manipulate lightly on a daily basis and not experience a hardly any broken hairs.  Life is good.  The only thing I wish to create is the look of thickness all the way through from root to tip.  It seems like my hair journey has been plagued with the issue of some areas appearing healthy, while others suffering from damage.  Health doesn't seem to be as evenly distributed as it should be.  I take 100% responsibility for this.  Perhaps the thinner ends are a result of the time when I neglected my hair while wearing daily buns.  I also reflect back on life prior to my Misto Sprayer when I didn't do my due diligence  in parting hair section by section when applying oil and moisture.  Before I made the decision to return to dry deep conditioning, I can't say for sure if I was as consistent with parting my hair in tiny sections as I should have been.  I'm sure all of these factors made an impact on how my hair looks today.

Misto Sprayer | CapriClear Coconut Oil | Gleau Argan Oil Blend | Keratindose Travel Size

Since I'm not having to "play defense" with regards to any pressing hair issues, I get to shift my strategy so I can play to win!  I see only one way to help me break free from this dreaded curse of the "V" or "W" shaped ends.  And that one way is consistency & fairness.  Here's what I mean by fairness.  I tend to favor some parts of my hair over others.  When I moisturize, I focus on the hair that  I see, meanwhile, there are tens of thousands of strands that go without.  When I deep condition, I always start in the same section.  Perhaps that section gets more love than the last section just before I finish.  When I moisturize, I do it so my hair looks/feels better.  I can't say for sure that my goal is to moisturize as many hair strands as possible.  Then there are the sections that are almost being neglected because they aren't as visible (the back of my hair and my nape).  I haven't been treating all of my strands equally.

I know it's my fault because when I experienced a mini-chop last year, my hair was even and given a fresh start.  Perhaps the "V" shape may have something to do with the lead hair theory, but I know my actions could have been better.  So here is what  I commit to do differently with the hopes of creating full thick hair all throughout.

  • By far, the most effective process for me to treat a damaged area is when I consistently practice what I call the "Strand Ceremony."  Now that I'm dry deep conditioning again. This will give me greater access to my individual strands.  Consistent practice of the Strand Ceremony never fails me.  It just takes a lot of time so  I need to make sure I plan ahead so I never skin this step.
  • The strand Ceremony is a weekly practice.  I also need something that supports my hair on a daily basis.  My Misto Sprayer is a game changer when it comes to accessing all of my hair.  One mist and an entire section is covered.  When I use the Misto, I naturally want to separate hair into sections to make sure everyone gets their fair share.  This is why I went out and bought a second bottle.
  • I am also committed to moisturizing and sealing more frequently like I did during my 7 day challenge.  From that exercise I learned that my hair behaved differently when it was moisturized at least twice a day versus my old method.  One new twist I'm adding is to switch up how I moisturize so I'm not creating a pattern.  I want to practice parting my hair differently each time so I cover more ground throughout the week.  
I know this may seem extreme but I think I need this level of focus otherwise I'll constantly be dealing with issues.  Do you have any other suggestions for me?  Please share in the comments. 

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Monday Motivation | Let's talk Procrastination

4.14.2014

I don't think I've ever met a person who hasn't battled with procrastination. It's an issue that I struggle with, I've coached others on the same issue and, as a matter of fact, I just had a conversation with a wonderful reader on Sunday about the same concern. We have things we know we should do....but for some reason we keep putting it off (while feeling bad the entire time).

 One of the most powerful books I've read on this subject is "The War of Art" by Steven Pressfield. Steven is a novelist who has grappled with procrastination in the form of writer's block. He tells a story of after finally overcoming "Resistance" to complete his first novel.   He was working as a cab driver full time as a diversion as he ran away from doing what he needed to do.  Finally, one night, after years of procrastinating, he forced himself to sit down for two hours and write his first story.  As soon as he had completed it, he took the book and tossed it in the trash.   Once that was done, he looked at the 10 days worth of dirty dishes in the sink and immediately began to wash them.  As the pile of clean dishes rose, Steven noticed that he was whistling.  Why? Because he felt good.  Not because he wrote something good, but because after years of running from it, he actually sat down and did his work.

You and I go through this same cycle in our lives.  There's something that we KNOW needs to get done, yet we avoid it.  We fill our time with other non-essentials while constantly battling the inner voice that steadily reminds us of what we're avoiding.  The moment we complete it, our energy shifts and suddenly we start doing other things that we've been putting off.  Notice how good Steven felt as he washed a mountain of dishes.  I don't think he consciously said to himself "I'm going to write this novel, then I'll do the dishes."  No, I think his mind was strictly focused on finally overcoming the procrastination of finally writing his novel.  But, a wonderful outcome of his actions was the removal of blockage in other areas of his life.

Notice how Steven wasn't attached to the outcome of his book.  His goal wasn't to write a great American novel, he just needed to get it on paper.  Sometimes we stop ourselves from doing something because we fear it won't be any good.  If that is your way of thinking, please refer back to last week's post about life lessons from Chris Brown's dancing.  Over the weekend, I visited a talented Makeup Artist friend. She talked about how excited she was to launch her new makeup business.  I brought up the possibility of utilizing Youtube to expand her branding.  But the thought of it terrifies her.  I asked her a question. "Let's say you put out a few videos, and three months from now, I ask you how things are, will you say that you regret doing it?"   In fact, if she did launch a few videos, the worse case scenario is that she'd get a couple of hundred views. But is that really a "worse case scenario" or is it a good thing because a few hundred people who didn't know her work are now familiar with her.

Same with us. We avoid something because we think it'll be a terrible experience if we go through it.  Truth is, ONLY and I mean ONLY good things can come from doing what we need to do.  Think about it.  List out everything you've been avoiding. Whether it's placing a call, decluttering, writing a book, getting that certification, working out consistently, launching your business, whatever it is:

1.  You will NEVER regret doing it (but you will regret avoid it)
2. Only good things come when you do it.
3. You will also experience unexpected breakthroughs in other areas of your life when you do them.

I would like you to keep these three things in mind whenever you find yourself avoiding taking action. I invite you to do a 7 day personal challenge where you do one thing everyday that we've been putting off.  Doesn't have to be "that huge thing" you've been avoiding. Could be as simple as flossing after brushing. But do something everyday to build that muscle.  Next thing you know, it will become easier for you to tackle that big thing on your list.  Who's with me?

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China Glaze | For Audrey Giveaway

4.13.2014

Even during the cold months of winter, I began to fantasize about spring and all of the wonderful bright nail color options that lay ahead.  This year I wanted to get my hands on a soft aqua color so badly.  I asked my homies on the Relaxed Hair Health Facebook page for recommendations.  China Glaze's For Audrey came so highly recommended that I had to get my hands on some.

When I walked into the store, I didn't expect a buy 1 get one free sale on China Glaze polishes.  Because I had only one thing on my mind, I picked up two bottles of the same color.  Then I thought, "why don't I give one away?"
Since it's been forever since my last giveaway, I'd like to offer the opportunity to give a bottle of one of you.  Simply send an email to relaxedhairhealth@gmail.com with the words "For Audrey" in the subject line.  Make sure you follow the blog.

This giveaway is open to U.S. residents. I'll notify the randomly selected winner on Sunday April 20, 2014.  Good luck everyone.

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New In | Sephora addition

4.12.2014

A random email reminder dropped into my inbox the other day reminding me that my 15% off coupon to Sephora was set to expire in a matter of hours.  If I didn't hurry, I'd foolishly loose this amazing opportunity.  Left with no choice, I carefully made my way to the nearest Sephora store.

When I entered the mall, a still, small voice whispered gently in my ear saying "stop by the Tom Ford counter to test the Deep Mink."  Next thing you know, I'm standing in front of the display testing what would be, the most perfect nude I've ever had the pleasure of wearing.

Here' the thing, my lips are two toned. My top lip is darker than my bottom.  So colors that appear nude on my bottom, look to light for my top lip.  I never thought I'd actually find a color that looks right on both my top and bottom lip. I'm thankful to Tom Ford for solving that issue for me.  The true color is actually a bit darker than it appears in the photograph.  It's the most expensive lipstick I own. But I've spent way more money on all the other (non perfect) nudes I have before I was led to my new holy grail lip color.  I'm throughly pleased.  

My mission, when I got to Sephora, was to snatch up a tube of what I heard several people refer to as the "best concealor in the world."  My perfect match of the Makeup Forever Full Coverage Creme is #18. It's waterproof which is just what I need for this time of year. Nothing worse than sweating off your makeup before you even get to where you're going.  Hopefully now, I won't have this issue anymore.
Since everything was 15% off, I decided to load up on higher priced items that I might normally pass up.  Weeks ago, I tossed my empty tube of Fresh Soy cleanser.  Instead of replacing the tube, I opted for the Soy Face Exfoliant.  After an amazing steam facial, I'll be sloughing off all the loosened skin and dirt to reveal fresh, soft skin.  Summer glow, here I come.  
Speaking of glow, the last item on my shopping list was the Glo Teeth whitening system.  I saw a couple of reviews online and thought it would be cool to try out.  I haven't opened the box yet because I'm waiting for a week where I'm not traveling so I can use it a few days consecutively for full effectiveness. 
Sigh, I'm so addicted to beauty gadgets.

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Biolage Keratindose Leave-in just got better.

4.10.2014


This post is brought to you by a wonderful reader who connected with me to share the good news regarding my beloved Matrix Keratindose Leave-In.  Here's what she had to say:
"Thank you for the Biolage Keratindose suggestion! I have FINALLLY found my one true love!!!  I had to let you kow that Beauty Brands has the mini purse size (gift with purchase) for free!  We need this in our life!  Be sure to get one.... or two:)"
Seconds later, I was on the Beauty Brands sight desperately trying to get my hands on some. Unfortunately for me, they don't have that offer online and there isn't a Beauty Brands location in my neck of the woods.  Before panic began to set in, I headed over to Amazon as a last resort.  And, of course Amazon had my back. They had 1 oz bottles for under $5.00 including shipping.

My hair really began to thrive after my 7 day Moisturize and Seal challenge.  For the most part, frequent moisturizing has become a habit for me.  When I travel though, it becomes a challenge.  Just the other day I had to moisten my hair with water, from the tap in my hotel bathroom, before misting it with a few sprays of CapriClear coconut oil.   Since I'll have a mini Keratindose with me wherever I go, I never have to worry about being stranded with dry hair ever again.

For those of you who weren't throughly convinced for buying a full size bottle after reading my first review, perhaps you can dip your toes in the water by trying the mini size.


(p.s.  I did pick up two)

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The Lust List

4.08.2014


It's been quite a while since I've gone shopping.  This little hiatus has afforded me the opportunity to clear my mind and develop a new strategy going forward.  Normally, I go to a store without much forethought about what I'm looking for.  If something great catches my eye, I purchase.  The old method works but, at the same time, my closet is filled with a lot of forgettable items as a result of my random, spontaneous shopping.

I've decided, instead, to reduce the number of shopping excursions and focus on obtaining key pieces that enhance my current inventory.   I'll have to save up a little more for certain things which is good because I won't be engaging in mindless spending.  This is another way of practicing focus and intention. 

+So I've come up with a small collection of items that currently appear on my "Lust List."  I'm officially on the lookout for the perfect white blazer.  Something I can wear casually or on a night out.  Whenever I enter any store, I'll always be on the lookout until that elusive white blazer becomes mine.

+ After spending some time on Youtube the other day, I stumbled upon a review where the girl was raving about Tom Ford's Deep Mink as the perfect nude (for brown girls).  After watching some other reviews on the same lip color, I decided that it should be on my "to see" list next time I'm at the mall.  I already have a decent amount of nude lipsticks.  I suspect that I have so many because I haven't yet found the perfect one.  Let's hope this is it.

+Last year, I finally invested some energy into upgrading my shoe options.  I'm really happy with what I have so far.  But, I'd be even happier if I had a pair of nude pumps in my collection.  The other day, I just happen to stumble upon pictures of the "So Kate" heels by Christian Louboutin.  I don't own a pair of Loubs and I wasn't necessarily craving one but this heel is "reasonably priced" compared to some of his other designs and it's probably the sexiest (and probably least comfortable) shoe I've seen in a while.  It's worth at least trying them on.

+Lastly, I hope to pick up my last designer bag sometime later this year before I officially go into designer bag retirement.  I was really aggressive in building my collection the last couple of years.  Once the Balenciaga City Bag is within my clutches (no pun intended), my thirst will be satisfied and I can move on to something more noble like planting a vegetable garden or something. 

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Four life lessons I learned from Chris Brown's dancing

4.07.2014

I wouldn't call myself a Chris Brown fan.  I don't own any of his music and haven't seen him perform live.  Other than the stuff I hear about him on the news, I don't really know that much about him.  But, I will say that he's taught me some valuable life lessons just by watching a brief one minute and a half video of him doing "the Dougle."  Let me show you what I'm talking about. Watch it once in its entirety then we will break it out lesson by lesson.



Lesson 1: Don't worry about what other people are doing
The video opens with Chris Brown casually doing the Dougie. Suddenly he stops at the 12 second mark and turns around to the group of people behind him who are idly standing around.  None of them are engaged in anything special other than people watching.  Chris immediately returns to doing what he loves to do. Sometimes we hold ourselves back from being who we are because others are around.  Chris teaches us to do the opposite.  As a matter of fact, if you watch closely, you'll notice that once he turns back around, he starts dancing even more intensely than before.

Lesson 2: Stand Out from the Crowd
What do you notice when you watch the video?  One thing that's glaringly obvious is the stark constrast between Chris and everyone around him.  It's probably late in the evening and pretty much everyone in the club wore the standard uniform of black clothing.  I'm sure Chris is aware of that so he decided to do something a little different.  When we were children, we were taught that different = bad.  We got picked on if we looked or acted different from everyone else.  We carry that way of thinking into adulthood and quickly try to conform into our environment.  We wear jeans everyday because everyone else is doing it.  We buy what's in style. We mold ourselves in a way that allows us to fit in.  Chris teaches us that standing out doesn't have to mean doing something totally outlandish.  Just a simple white tee and khakis when everyone else is wearing all black sets him aside from the others.  Notice whenever we do something out of the ordinary, people notice.  Even if it's something simple like wearing a pop of color. Wearing a dress when everyone is rocking jeans, not only feels good, but gives us a boost of confidence as well.

Lesson 3: Go All Out
Based on what I observed in the video, this doesn't look like a paid performance.  Chris isn't singing, or even dancing to his own song.  He just simply enjoying himself.  Yet, he's dancing like nobody's watching.  Meaning he's going all out without any worries.  Check out the guys behind him. Some are standing completely still, some are bobbing their heads.  You can tell that guy directly to the left of him with the shades on wants to dance too, but he's too self conscious to do so. Instead he carefully folds his hands and bops to music.  Meanwhile Chris is doing the most.  He doesn't have a lot of space to work with yet his dancing is captivating.   He's teaching us not to hold anything back. When we are doing something, anything, give it everything we have.

Lesson 4: Have Fun!
What else do you notice about Chris?  Check out his face.  While he's dancing in front of these eager fans, he's all smiles.  He's not giving us the "I'm a serious dancer face."  He's just having fun.  Not taking himself too seriously.  Sometimes when we do something, we put a ton of pressure on ourselves to be perfect.  Meanwhile we miss opportunities to just enjoy the experience.  When was the last time you had fun in front of a group of people?  Life is short. The more we enjoy it, the more memorable we become.  Even if Chris Brown wasn't "Chris Brown," I'm sure all those ladies would pay attention to him if he behaved the same way.  People are attracted to others who are enjoying life and themselves.  Since today is Monday, try going throughout your workday with an attitude of I'm going to have a blast today.  Smile, have fun, and show off a little.  You'll notice that others will relate to you differently than they have before.


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Leather in the Spring Time

4.06.2014


 I'm obsessed, and I mean obsessed, with long sleeved, short dresses.  The problem is that I don't come across them that often.  So when I stumbled upon this amazing faux leather trimmed dressed, I had to grab it.

 It didn't matter that the dress was too big for me at the time.  Right after I got it, I took it straight to the seamstress to have it fitted.
The sleeves were too long for me so I asked her to make 'em shorter.  When I requested that she take off the leather cuffs, she protested saying that the "leather cuffs" added character to the dress. I'm glad I listened.  We both agreed to turn the long sleeve to a 3//4 length so I can wear the dress all year round.
The faux leather detail in the dress has stitching which makes it a bit more interesting. It also perfectly compliments the stitching in my new bag.

I love the cut-out feature in the back of the dress.  It actually, opened all the way to the waist but the seamstress added a little modesty for me.  
Last fall I had an unusual attraction to everything with faux leather detailing.  These Calvin Klein heels were a by-product of that time in my life.  They're probably one of my favorite pair of shoes.  Incredibly comfortable and pretty much can work with any outfit choice.

Hope everyone is enjoying their weekend!


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The Summer Sexy Legs Project

4.03.2014

Other than the mandatory shaving a couple of times a week, I rarely pay attention to my legs.  Back in my glory days, I considered my legs to be an asset.  When I wore shorter dresses and heels, the compliments flowed.  Then I went through this period of only wearing jeans/pants and totally not caring what my legs looked like.

But things have changed. If you look at my closet today versus the same time last year, you would notice an increase in the amount of dresses.  Somehow, I've veered back into the world of knee length (or shorter) dresses.  While standing under the critical lights of a well lit dressing room, not too long ago, I noticed something I haven't noticed before.  My shins had faint scars scattered all over.  On top of that, the skin on my legs seemed dry and scaly. Could this be the result of neglect all winter long?  Perhaps.  No matter the reason, I decided that I had to do something about it ASAP.

Now that I know, I have to do something about it.  My small collection of dresses is bound to grow so I need to make sure my legs are spectacular.  But don't you worry your pretty little hearts, I've got a plan.  Wanna hear it? Here it go!  My goals are to address the following areas:
I'm so petite that when I gain a couple of pounds, it shows.  I typically gain weight in my stomach and legs.  First my thighs get wider and, if I don't get it in control fast enough, the rest of my legs follow suit.  Right now it's not too bad but I've still got a little work to do.  A couple of weeks ago I added another addition into my home gym.  It's a pair of  weights help add resistance to my floor work.  With their help, I create toner legs in no time at all.

While I'm getting them in shape, my focus will also be on eliminating the dull/dry skin while helping to remove blemishes and dark spots.  You and I have talked about exfoliation at length.  We know how awesome it works to help bring about glowing skin.  But now I'm realizing that I rarely exfoliate below the knees (with the exception of my heels).   So, I'm now making it a routine to exfoliate my entire body from neck to toe with my favorite sugar scrub of all time.  My mission is to get off all the dead skin that has been accumulating all winter long under our constant use of body butters.

While I was doing a little research online, I found a body wash that exfoliates using glycolic acid.  The reviews seemed really promising.  Many people also expressed joy over the fact that Glytone also helped them get rid of  their kilaris pilaris (aka chicken skin).  It makes your skin look like you have goose bumps all the time.  I used to have a bad case of this years ago.  Everyone always asked me if I was cold. It was embarrassing. But, when I got rid of gluten, it all just went away.  Only now am I realizing that kilaris pilaris could be a sign of gluten intolerance.
 Glytone will help to fade the dark spots on my leg using chemical exfoliation without the excessive scrubbing.  Especially in the shin area which might be a bit more sensitive.

If I'm consistent in my exfoliation, it won't be long until my skin starts looking radiant again.  I vow to keep a bottle of CarpiClear coconut spray near my shower so I can mist my legs and feet as soon as I step out (while my skin is still moist). This will hopefully ward off dryness and add a nice shine to my legs.  If all of that doesn't make my legs flawless, I will break out the big dog! My Gleam body radiance has been waiting for me to start baring my legs again so it can show and prove.   This stuff is beautiful magnificent.  It creates the perfect amount of glow without looking like I'm covered in sparkles.  Best of all it's also moisturizing like a lotion.  It's going to look amazing on my newly exfoliated and ultra toned legs.  I can not wait!


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Spring is here! Hair Growth Season has officially begun

4.02.2014

Spring is not only a time for colorful nail polish and flirty dresses, it's also the time of year when our hair growth cycle begins to awaken.  Take a look at the graph below so you can see what I'm talking about.  Now is the time when our hair growth gets crackin! Notice that our hair grows a little faster in the spring than summer.


So what does that mean for you?  If you do nothing, your hair will likely still grow at a faster rate than in did in the last 4-6 months.  But.....what if instead of waiting idly by for the growth to happen on its own, you created a plan of action to maximize hair growth (and retention) for the next two seasons?

I dunno about you, but I like option 2 better.  I want to milk this faster hair growth thing as much as I can.  By the time fall rolls around, I want to be patting myself on the back for all the progress made.  So what's the plan?  I'm glad you asked.

Nutrition
First and foremost, I have to make sure the hair that's growing in is as healthy as humanly possible. This means that I vow to remain consistent with my morning smoothies, my fermented cod liver oil and collagen, silica, etc.  On top of that, I'm considering adding a shot of wheat grass back into my morning routine.  After reading a comment from a reader who mentioned how their grey hair started to gain its color back from taking wheat grass, I figured it was time to start again.  If you haven't already done so, now's a good time to pick up a 90 day supply of a hair, skin, and nails.  By the time the bottle is gone, we'll be heading into summer.

                   Water
All those nutrients will make a greater difference if they have a method of delivery to the scalp. The greatest method of delivery is via water.  As it gets warmer, we will need more water for our hair and scalp.  Most of the water/fluids we'll be drinking will be allocated to helping keep our bodies cool and hydrated.  But we want to go beyond hydration.  We want to drink enough water to nourish flood our scalp with the nutrients we take in.  This means that our daily water intake should be measured in liters not cups.  If you're still talking about how you drank 3 cups of water today, you're not doing your job.


                   Scalp Stimulation
This spring, I want my scalp to know that it's time to go to work!  So of course this means that I'll be doing scalp massages on the regular.  On wash days when I'm sitting under my MicroMist steamer, I'll plan on steaming it for an entire hour.  I realized how good my scalp felt while receiving the steam treatment and thought it could maybe have an impact on my growth rate if I'm consistent.  Then there's also the option of brushing my scalp to really get things moving.  Or maybe I'll try doing Sanford Bennett's technique.  Whatever the case, I have plenty of choices and I plan on implementing multiple methods if possible.


                   Exercise
How else can I promote circulation and improve hair growth?  Ah yes.  Exercise.  Can you imagine how much much progress you can make if you are working out on a regular basis and doing all of the above?  Not only will you have a fit, toned, summer ready body, but you can help put your circulation on overdrive.  Plus all the extra sweating will help your skin purge toxins and create a glow.

Four simple tricks along with every thing I learned in our Healthy Endings serious will help combine optimal growth with great retention.  Let's get it!

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Transformation Tuesday | All the hard work pays off

4.01.2014

There's something to be said about a person who sets a goal for themselves and then puts in the consistent actions to achieve it.  I admire those who are able to create and maintain a set of new habits while overcoming the resistance that tries to keep them in their old ways.  That's why today's post is dedicated to those who are transforming their bodies.

They're such inspirations.






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Monday Motivation | Achieve your desires by dreaming smaller.

3.31.2014

Each day, I try to listen to some motivational and inspirational audio to get my mind in the right place. Last week I was introduced to an idea regarding the law of attraction that was a bit different from what I've heard in the past.  I remember when LOA was big, people were writing million dollar checks to themselves in order to attract financial abundance into their lives.  We were told to dream and think big because there was no difference in manifesting a million dollars versus manifesting $1.00.

The only issue that arises with that type of thinking is our belief levels.  You see, attraction, goal achievement, etc requires one key factor in order to allow the intention to become a reality.  That one key factor is belief. Belief is the fuel that transports you from thoughts to actions to achievement.  This is why we are asked to visualize (to increase our belief), to state affirmations (to increase our belief), to create vision boards (to increase our belief),  and to write down our goals in present tense (to increase our belief).  Without faith/belief, we are unable to leverage the law of attraction.  I remember having a conversation with my brother once about an intention that was taking me years to manifest.  We talked about the possible root causes and finally I said, "I'm not able to reach that outcome because deep down I don't believe it's possible."  That way of thinking was holding me back.


Ok. So now that he was established how important it is to believe our goals are possible, lets discuss how to increase that belief.  Like I said earlier, you can (and should) visualize the goal, write it down, look at pictures, affirm the end result to help convince your subconscious mind that what you want is possible.  But let me also introduce you to another technique to guarantee that you will manifest your intentions.

Start dreaming smaller.  Yep, you heard me correctly.  Instead of writing yourself million dollar checks and putting images of spacious mansions on your vision board, start thinking smaller.  The fastest way to manifest an intention that your desire is to leverage the power of belief to activate your actions.  When we create these larger than life goals of what we want to achieve, our subconscious sneaks in and starts to create seeds of doubt.  You may or may not be aware of what your subconscious is doing but, if you notice that you're not taking action towards you intentions, you can safely assume that underlying (self)doubt is present.

The easiest way to work around that doubt is to create smaller, more believable intentions.  Something you KNOW you can achieve.  This doesn't necessarily mean that you give up your big dreams, but you have to break them down into chunks that can be accomplished without a shadow of a doubt.  Maybe I skill keep the intention of cashing a million dollar check one day, but I create an equal intention of obtaining my business license, or reading 1 book a month on wealth creation.  Those, mini-intentions are doable and therefore believable.  As I fixate on achieving them with intensity of emotion,  I cause it to naturally occur in my life.  Once those intentions are met, I move on to the next level mini-intention.  I repeat this intention cycle over and over again and next thing you know, I've made a ton of progress towards my goals.

This idea of "dreaming small" also helps take away the anxiety that we sometimes feel when we see the gap between where we want to be and where we are.  If I'm 60lbs overweight and I tell myself I need to lose 60lbs, there's a certain amount of pressure attached with reaching that goal.  But if I tell myself that I strongly desire to lose 5lbs.  It's totally believable.  I set my intentions, visualize, affirm and when I lose those 5 lbs, I do it again with even more belief because I know in my heart how possible it is.

Does any of this makes sense?  I'm going to try this technique with my financial goals.  The number that I want to earn a month is a bit unbelievable for me because I've never been at that level before.  So what I'm going to do is create a much smaller goal and brainstorm what I can do to easily reach that level of monthly increase.  Once that's achieved, I do it again.  I suspect that as my level of belief builds, I'll be able to attract my mini-intentions at a faster pace.

Let's give it a try!


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First Impressions | Panasonic Facial Steamer

3.30.2014

There's nothing like the satisfaction of scratching one more item from your cravings list.   My most recent acquisition is the Panasonic Nano Care Facial Steamer.  I'm not stranger to facial steamers, in fact, I've owned a handful of them in the past from the most entry level to this deluxe version.  Regular steam sessions give me the most amazing skin.  Specifically,  steaming helps me eliminate the congestion that lies just beneath the surface that gives me the appearance of rough skin if not properly addressed.  Paired with my favorite deep cleansing mud mask, regular steaming sessions are a recipe for amazing skin.

My strategy was to buy the most expensive steamer I find.  I'm hoping this would be that last steamer I ever purchase for the rest of my life so I didn't mind making the investment up front.  My other motive was to utilize the steamer as a way of bringing steam setting back into my regimen.  My original Caruso Steam Reservoir stopped working eons ago and my facial steamers have served as suitable substitutes ever since.

Another major factor that drew me to this particular unit was its cool steam option.  I was curious about whether I could actually curl my hair using "cool steam" which could (in theory) help seal the cuticle layer as it curled.  Lastly, I made my purchase based on its claim of utilizing nano-particle ion steam.  Basically, the particles are extremely small which should equal better penetration and deeper moisturizing to the skin.  Immediately, I thought about how my Micromist steamer also uses micro water particles as well.  I imagined my skin receiving the same nourishing experience as my hair does on wash days and I was sold.  Not to mention how much more moisturized my hair could feel as a result of the steam styling.

Less than a week after it's long awaited arrival and I'm ready to share my thoughts.  First off, since this is a Japanese product, everything including manual, the writing on the steamer, and the instructional videos on Youtube, are in Japanese.  So it took me a few minutes of fumbling around with to figure it out (not sure if I've totally figured it out, there's one button on it that I've yet to understand its purpose).
Although the shape of it is a little strange, I like the portability of it and the fact that it has a little handle for carrying.  Another thing I really like about it is the water reservoir is removable.  This will allow me to clean it if the need arises.  Luckily for me, the area where the steam comes out perfectly accommodates my rollers.  The rollers rest comfortably on it horizontally and collect the steam as I part my hair in sections.  As a facial steamer, this machine is top notch.  The steam power is high (meaning lots of steam) and the comfort level is high as well.  With some of my other facial steamers, I'd have to be careful not to scold myself if I got too close. This may have something to do with the size of the steam particles.  With my Panasonic steamer, I can sit comfortably away from the machine and enjoy a relaxing steam session while working on the computer, doing my nails or whatever.  It's such a relaxing experience.

The cool steam function is more of a cool mist than a cool steam.  My only qualm is that I haven't been able to find how to activate the cool mist on it's own.  Based on what I know so far, it's added on to the end of a traditional warm steam session. To date, I've used this beauty less than a handful of times.  I can not begin to tell you the difference between my skin now and how it looked before my steamer arrived.  This thing is worth it's weight in gold for just that reason alone. My favorite thing to do is steam in the morning while practicing the Tanaka Massage technique.

Overall, I judge how good an item is by whether I would repurchase if it were to break or if I were to lose it.  If this were to break, I would replace without even thinking about it.  Sure, it's pretty pricey but it pays for itself when I think about how much I save from not having to get professional facials.  Plus, I can't see myself going back to the other steamers I used before that gave just ok results.  This is definitely one of my favorite purchases this year.


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