Friday, August 17, 2012

Chicken and Rice Casserole Recipe



Where do I began with this recipe!! This has to be one of the best chicken and rice casseroles ever!! The casserole is very easy to make, and doesn't take long at all. The other day I made this as soon as I came home from work and it took no time. You would have thought I was in the kitchen all day! Everyone loved it and wanted more!! This is my second time making this dish and now I'm wondering why haven't I made this more often. This will definitely be in rotation in my meal planning :)

Ingredients:

  • 2 (14 1/2-ounce) can green beans, drained and rinsed
  • 3 cups diced cooked chicken
  • 1 medium onion, diced and sauteed
  • 1 (8-ounce) can water chestnuts or 3 stalks of chopped celery
  • 1 (4-ounce) can pimentos, drained
  • 1 (10 3/4-ounce) can condensed cream of celery soup
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 (6-ounce) box long-grain and wild rice, cooked according to package directions
  • 1 cup grated sharp Cheddar
  • Pinch salt

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Mix all ingredients together and pour into a greased 3-quart casserole dish. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until bubbly.

Product Review: Bee Mine Luscious Balanced Cream Moisturizer

So a few weeks ago, I decided that I would try a product called Bee Mine Luscious Moisturizer.  I have to give this product 5 stars!! It locks in the moisture and you only need a dime size amount. My daughter's hair loves this product and my hair loves it too!! This will definitely be a staple and probably replace my generic brand Paul Mitchell leave in conditioner. The Bee Mine moisturizer retained the moisture in our hair for a longer period of time, leaving the hair very shiny. The only thing I don't like about this product is that you have to purchase it online, but shipping was rather fast. Hopefully, Target will start selling this soon!!

Ingredients: Distilled water, Hydrogenated Persea gratissima (Avocado) Seed Oil, Mangifera Indica (Mango) Seed Butter, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil (and) Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Persea gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Emulsifying wax, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Paraben & Formaldehyde Free Preservative & Fragrance (Coconut Cream - CC) (Island Mango - IM or Original Scent).


Wednesday, August 8, 2012

L.O.C Method

 source

Do you feel that your hair is too dry and nothing seems to hold the moisture. Lately, I've been trying 
the L.O.C. method and I love it!!  L.O.C. is an acronym for Liquid, Oil, and Cream. I have to say that this has to be the best method for my hair. I've always applied the water, oil, and cream, but it was never in this order.   Using this method will keep hair moisturized for at least a couple of days. The oil seals in the liquid and the cream seals in the oil. This concept is doing wonders for my hair and so many others!

LiquidI like to use water for my liquid. It's obvious that water is the best moisturizer for your hair.
Oil - For your oil, it's basically up to you. I like to use jojoba or coconut oil.
Cream- I like to use Bee Mine Luscious Moisturizer, which is awesome! Product review coming soon!


Additional Info here:

Curly Nikki | Natural Hair Styles and Curly Hair Care: The L.O.C Method




Monday, July 23, 2012

Protective Styling

My good ole bun

For almost 2 months, I've been wearing my hair in a high bun. I was wearing a protective style and didn't realize that I was doing a bun challenge, lol! With this protective style, I always moisturize my ponytail every night and then re twist the hair back into a bun.

What is a protective style? A protective style is designed to keep the ends of the hair tucked away, to protect from rubbing, and splitting.

Benefits of wearing a protective style:
  • Low Maintenance -The less you mess with your hair, the more it flourishes. Natural hair likes to be left alone.
  • Retains Growth- Protective styling helps with growing the hair longer. When hair constantly breaks, it's hard to see the growth. Keeping your hair in a protective style, reduces the amount of breakage.
  • A Break- The reason why I wore my hair in a bun for so long, because I was enjoying the break from doing my hair. When you're a Domestic Naturalista, finding the time to style hair can be difficult. I enjoyed my protective style!

Here's a few protective styles
Flat twist

Flat twist (This is how I'm wearing my hair now).


French braid into a bun


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Product Review: Jane Carter Defining Cream


Hey beautiful people!

This is my first post on a product review. I'm not really a product junkie, but I decided to try the Jane Carter Defining Cream on my daughter's hair.  I've been very lazy, but I promise I will let you know if I like it on my hair. I really love the results on Nadia's hair. Her curls are shiny and very defined!!  You definitely don't want to be heavy handed with this product. A little goes a long way, which is a good thing! I can't wait to try this on a twist out!! :)

Jane Carter Defining Cream
Ingredients:Purified Water, Extracts of Anthemis Noblis Flower (Camomile), Symphytum Officinal Leaf (Comfrey), Equisetum Arvense (Horsetail), Urtica Dioica (Nettle), Rosemarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf, Humulus Lupulus (Hops),of Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba), Seed Oil, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Natural Vitamin E, Glycerin, Propanediol, Poly-quaternium-100, Citric Acid , Polyquaternium-47, Ceteareth 20 , Phen-oxyethanol, Caprylyl, Glycol, Sorbic acid, Fragrance. 

I would rate this product a 4 out of 5 stars for Nadia's hair, but I still have to see how well it does for my hair. I also  like that I can purchase this product at Target instead of ordering online

 

Friday, June 29, 2012

Summertime!

So far my summer is going pretty good. Last week, I posted 50 things you could do for the summer. My son and I attempted to make an edible necklace, which he really enjoyed!! We also did other activities as well.

He had a good time!!!

Education is important!!



Thursday, June 28, 2012

Summer Hairstyle

I can say it's officially summer with the high temperatures we've had lately. I've been wanting to do a cute chunky twist out, but every time I think about walking outside with all this hair on my head, I change my mind quickly to a bun. The bun has actually been pretty nice to me, lol! Every morning, I will moisturize the ponytail with Paul Mitchell leave in conditioner and then twist the hair, wrapping it around to make a cute bun. I like to secure the bun with a bobby pin. People seem to love it and I do too!!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

50 Things to do this Summer

Hey beautiful people,

As I was looking over the web to find something to do this summer, I came across this website called imom (great site by the way).  I found a list of 50 things to do for the summer, and I'm sure the family and I will enjoy these activities.  These activities will allow us to make great memories and great picture taking! :)  I will  post pictures very soon. We should have fun!

                                                                          Source

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Happy Father's Day


I really don't know where to begin, but I must say my husband is the best father our kids could ever ask for! He is definitely a blessing to me!  I appreciate that he always puts his family second ( God first) and makes sure we have what we need. There has never been a time where he was too busy to take care of his kids. He will give them baths, cook, read to them ( especially bible stories), pray, play outside, crafts, teach them, and the list goes on.... I honestly feel a little spoil, because he has no problems doing everything and letting me relax.  I asked my son what he wants to be when he grows up, and he said that he wants to be like his Dad. It's so important to spend quality time with our kids, because they're watching us. Happy Father's Day to all the wonderful Fathers!






Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Single Strand Knots

If you're natural, I'm sure you have experienced a single strand knot. A single strand knot can be very irritating to the point where you have no choice but to cut it out.  The knotting can be harmless or harmful, depending on the situation. On my journey, the knots caused my hair to split and break off. It felt like I was cutting the area where the knot was every other day. I finally found a way to keep them at bay and hopefully these solutions can help you minimize the amount of knotting to your hair.  



Solutions:

Detangle the hair- It's so important to apply  a conditioner to the hair. I section the hair  into 4 to 6 sections and start with the back. I like to apply the leave in to the hair and  finger comb. I go through each section checking for knots.

 Keep hair stretched- This is great for minimizing single strand knots, so twisting  and protective styles should be your staple. A Shrunken head of hair is a breeding ground for single strand knots.

Don't sleep with loose hair - Okay, I am guilty of sleeping with loose hair, but sometimes I don't have the time to twist hair. When it's time to detangle, I definitely pay for it with pesky knots. :(

Hands off- We all love to touch our hair, but this will do more damage. Single strand knots are in the making when twirling the hair. 

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Weight Loss After Pregnancy

8 months pregnant with my second child

9 months pregnant with my first child
It's been a year since I had my little girl and I am very pleased with my weight. With both of my kids, I gained a whopping 80 lbs. After having a c-section with my first child, I didn't realize the amount of weight I gained until I got home from the hospital.  I knew something had to be done. I started researching about calorie intake and exercising and that was the magic pill!!! As soon as I returned to work, I was ready to get back to my regular self again. It took a lot of determination and a drive to lose the weight. With both kids, I weighed 180 lbs and in 5 months I was back down to 126 lbs. I've made this a life style and if I don't work out, I don't feel right. LOL!

Check out this website at www.myfitnesspal.com. This website is a great tool to use when losing weight and it also helps with maintaining your calorie intake.

 Tips that will help you shed the pounds in a healthy way:


  • Setting a goal- It's important to have a goal to know what you're working towards. This will give you motivation and a drive to succeed. 
  • Diary of what you eat- I know this sounds silly, but it's important to write down everything you eat. This will help you keep up with what you're eating and also help maintain your calorie intake.
  • Calorie Intake-Everything in moderation. You don't want to eat a 500 calorie burger and then 400 calorie fries. You want to be mindful of how many calories you are eating. For me, I took in 1200 calories a day. I ate 6 healthy meals each day.
  • Cardio- Running is the best cardio to lose the weight quickly, but if you are not able to run, try the elliptical or walking. I ran on the tread mill everyday, burning 500 calories. 
  • Drinking lots of Water- Water should be your best friend! Water should be all you drink, especially if you're on a mission to lose the weight. Okay, I sound very strict right now, but if you really want to see a change in your body, take a break from the soft drinks. Water also helps with becoming full and if you drink ice cold water, you're burning calories! :)
  • Vegetables- Vegetables will forever be a part of my diet. With losing weight, I would fill majority of my plate with a spinach salad (cucumbers and vinaigrette dressing only) and a fist size of anything else. I really believe spinach helped my hair to grow!!
  • Low Calorie Snacks- Try eating snacks that are less than 100 calories.
  • Check Your Nutrition Facts- This is so important to do! In the grocery store, you can see "all natural" on the box or a statement that says "healthy", but you look at the back of the box and it's loaded with calories, sugar, and fat. I've definitely made this into a habit!
  • Don't Deprive yourself- Even though I counted calories, I didn't deprive myself.  This should keep you from binging on higher-calorie foods.


Wednesday, May 30, 2012

My Top 5 Hair Accessories

Hey beautiful people!

People always ask me about my hair accessories, so I decided to share my Top 5.  Wearing natural hair, I realized that hair accessories are becoming a very close friend of mine, lol!! I noticed every hair accessory I wore, my "Big Hair" loved it!!  When you're having a bad hair day, it makes everything better. :)

My Top 5 Hair Accessories

Embellished Headbands- These headbands make my hair really stand out, especially with ponytails.
Goody Ouchless Headbands -I like to use these headbands for pony tail holders.
Hair Scarves - You can never go wrong with wearing colorful hair scarves as headbands. You can find so many vibrant colors.
Bobby pins- I love to use bobby pins for a cute pin up style or to help with pinning my bun. Bobby pins will forever be a staple when working with natural hair! :)
Basic Headband - Every naturalista should have a basic headband that they love to wear.

Where can I find Hair Accessories?
 Wherever I am, if there's a cute hair accessory, I must have it! I'm not partial to one store, but here's a couple of stores where you can't go wrong.
Target-  It's something about that store that gets me excited about shopping, lol!! Maybe it's the colors, but sometimes I can find really cute embellished headbands. Of course you can also find the other accessories that are listed.
Charming Charlie - Besides cute jewelry, you can also find colorful floral or embellished headbands in all colors!
Ulta









Friday, May 25, 2012

Happy Birthday Nadia!!

On May 25th, God blessed me with a beautiful healthy baby girl!!  Happy Birthday Nadia, Mommy loves you!


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The Beauty of Castor Oil

This is the brand that I purchase
For my deep condition treatments, I love to apply my conditioner with castor oil!! My hair loves castor oil and I can truly see the results! After the treatment, my hair feels super soft and looks very shiny. On wash days, if I don't deep condition my hair with castor oil, I can definitely tell a difference.  After I gave birth, I notice my hair broke off around the edges. I started to apply the castor oil on my edges, and before you know it my hair grew back instantly!! I really believe that a big part of my hair growth was due to applying castor oil with my deep treatments. Castor oil is truly the Hair Growth oil if you ask me!

Regular castor oil use on your hair’s roots and scalp will help:
  1. Increase hair growth
  2. Thicken hair that is starting to thin out
  3. Reduce and prevent hair damage
  4. Eliminate dry hair
  5. Make the hair fuller and shinier
  6. Deeply condition and moisturize hair and scalp
  7. Prevents dry scalp
  8. Boost your hair’s overall health
 Applying castor oil to your hair tips will also prevent your hair from looking frizzy and having split ends and damage. You will also notice that your hair is stronger and won’t develop split ends that easily anymore.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Family Time with Gardening

My son is very inquisitive about growing a garden. He's excited about seeing the vegetables grow and I'm excited about him eating more of his vegetables, lol!!! We might be on to something!  I never really had a love for gardening, but I guess this will be something new for all of us.   It feels good when you can eat the vegetables you planted. If you are looking for other ways to bond with your kids, try growing a garden. They will reap knowledge about healthy foods and also learn  patience as the plants grow. Wish us luck, lol!


Saturday, May 12, 2012

Hair Shedding

Excuse the bad pic from my i-phone, but I really love this picture of my hair!
I'm sure we all can relate to finding strands of hair all over the bathroom sink or on the floor. I know for me, if I saw long strands of hair everywhere, I would freak out!!!  Your hair should shed 50 to 100 strands on a daily basis.  We shed hair because the hair follicle reaches a point of detachment from the bulb of the hair shaft and moves closer to the scalp, which causes the hair to fall out. No matter how annoying or frightening it can be, hair shedding is a part of life. Do keep in mind that there is one type of shedding you don't want to see, and that is the short hairs that look as though they have broken off from the end of the hair strand. Once you notice the short hairs, it's time to do something about breakage.




How I can prevent Breakage?
  • Reduce Stress: Exercising is very therapeutic and also good for your hair and body.
  • Eat Healthier:  Pack on the green veggies and water!! Also take your vitamins and eat enough protein!
  • Protein Treatment: Protein can definitely help with the amount of shedding. Try Keracare Super Reconstructor or Aubrey Organics GPB.
  • Moisturize: I can't repeat this enough! Your hair loves to be moisturized, so please invest in a good creamy leave in conditioner. Keep it hydrated!
  • Avoid Heat: I know we love straight hair, but your hair needs a break from heat. 

Monday, May 7, 2012

Baked Ratatouille


Last week, I decided to make Baked Ratatouille! This is basically a veggie ravioli, but so good!! I  love that my family is still able to eat a nice serving of vegetables. It's very easy and your family will love it! If you noticed, I love cheese!!!


Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cups chopped zucchini
  • 2 cups chopped summer squash
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • half jar of spaghetti sauce
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 (8 ounce) package frozen cheese ravioli
  • 3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese or parmesan cheese
  • diced chicken or a rotisserie chicken

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C); spray a 2 1/2-quart baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat; cook and stir the garlic and onion until the vegetables have begun to soften, about 8 minutes. Stir in the zucchini, squash, bell pepper, tomatoes, tomato sauce, basil, parsley, salt, and black pepper; bring the mixture to a boil, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes.
  3. Cook the frozen ravioli as directed on the package; drain. Spread the cooked ravioli in a layer into the bottom of the prepared baking dish; spoon the hot vegetables over the ravioli ( I like to layer it twice).  Sprinkle with the cheese.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven until the casserole is bubbling and the cheese is melted, about 20 minutes.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Hair Growth

Hi beautiful people!!

Hair is very close to waist length.
So, I finally took a picture of my hair length today!! My hair has been straight since March 15th!!!!  Sorry, that you all had to get a picture of dirty hair that is starting to revert back, lol!! I have to say that I am very proud of the hair length and how long my hair stayed straight. I've been fully natural since the summer of 2008!!

 In order to maintain my straight hair, I added coconut oil to my ends once a week. For my edges, I used shea butter. I slept with my hair in a half bun using a satin pony tail holder. No touch ups with heat!! For curls, I used flexi rods in order to get bouncy curls!! Stay tuned for pictures of how I wash and deep condition my hair!


10 Hair Growth Tips

  1. Always deep condition the hair once a week with a natural oil
  2. Alternate with a protein treatment
  3. Water is your friend ( Keep hair moisturized)
  4. Make sure the ends are getting the right amount of moisture. (Remember that's the oldest part of your hair)
  5. Try more finger combing instead of a comb ( You can pull all that beautiful hair out with a comb)
  6. Section hair before shampooing 
  7. Read the ingredients in every product ( No Sodium Laureth Sulfates, Petroleum, or Mineral oil)
  8. Take a break from heat 
  9. Twist outs help to keep hair tangle free
  10. Protective styles ( Buns or twists)

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Updates in progress




Hi beautiful people!!

I have been so busy these last couple of weeks with the death of my Grandfather and also planning events. I hate that I haven't been able to keep you all updated and informed, but I am back!! I will be sharing my hair length check, how to prevent shedding, and also why Castor oil should be one of your favorite oils. I also have a love for event planning!!! I'm not sure what God is doing, but he's up to something ( He's so awesome!!!!)  Stay tuned for more updates!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Spending Time with Family

 My husband and I decided to do a photo shoot with the kids at the park, and had a ball!!  Remember to always spend time with family. Spending time as a family is a wise investment.  Here's a few pictures of the kids at the park and on Resurrection Sunday ( Easter).