Saturday, March 31, 2012

Perdue's Boneless Chicken Roast

This is not a recipe, but I had to post how tasty and easy this chicken was.  The hubby went grocery shopping (Oh how I love that Man) and picked this lovely chicken that was already pre-seasoned. All you had to do was pop it in the oven, and in 45 minutes you had this tender and juicy roast.  I highly recommend this for busy Moms or someone whose always on the go. Check your local grocery store for the Perdue chicken roast. I'm all about semi-homemade, lol!!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Developing Healthy Eating Habits


Who would have thought that I would enjoy getting meals prepared. It's 
important to me that my family eats a nutritious meal, because I  want to teach
my children the importance of being healthy.  When searching for a meal,  I make
sure that veggies are incorporated. I also make sure that each meal will carry
over for the next day. Here's a few tips to promote healthy childhood eating.

  • Have regular family meals. Knowing dinner is served at the same time every night and that the entire family will be sitting down together is comforting.  Breakfast is also another great time for a family meal.
  • Cook more meals at home.  My goal is to make sure I prepare meals for the week and limit dining out once a week. Eating home cooked meals is healthier for the whole family and sets a great example for kids about the importance of food.
  • Get kids involved. My son enjoys picking up food to put in the cart, which is a perfect time to learn about fruit and veggies. It gives you a chance to teach them about the nutritional values of different foods.
  • Make a variety of healthy snacks available instead of empty calorie snacks.  I like to keep plenty of fruit and veggies around and healthy beverages (water, milk, and pure fruit juice).
  • Don't ban sweets entirely. Having no sweets rule is an invitation for cravings and overindulging when given the chance.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Night Time Routine


Everyone should try to make an effort to protect their hair at night, so it can
be manageable the next day. Here's a few guidelines you should do to protect
your hair at night.
 
For a Flat twist out (more defined)
I like to apply oil on the ends of my hair and stuff the hair under a bonnet.
 
 
 

 
For a Two-Strand twist out
Since the hair is not that defined, I like to continue to twist my hair every other night wearing at least 20 to 30 twists with perm rods on the end. I continue to apply the leave in conditioner and unrefined shea butter to the hair. I like to wear a satin scarf to smooth the edges and roots and then stuff the hair under the bonnet. If you are not a fan of the bonnet, it would be a good idea to purchase a satin pillow case.  Retwisting the hair at night  helps hair become tangle free and it also helps reduce breakage.
 
 

Too tired to twist
Believe me, I do have nights where I am too tired to do anything to my hair. On days like that, I like to wear my hair in a pony tail like the picture below.

Thank you Keenya!!



I would like to give my appreciation and thanks to Ms. Keenya Griffin for the wonderful interview she did on The Domestic Naturalista!!! Please check her website at http://www.keenyakelly.com/ for great tips on natural hair as well as her journey .  She's doing great things in Richmond, Virginia!!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Being Healthy means Healthy Hair


Being healthy is very important when it comes to hair growth.  If you are doing everything right and still not seeing results, you may want to check your diet. I noticed when I started eating healthy and working out, my hair grew longer and faster! Here's a few tips you may want to think about.

  • Drink plenty of water-Every cell in your body needs water from head to toe. That is why it is so important to drink enough fluid. I love water and my hair does too!!
  • Exercise-Exercise is just as important as a healthy diet when it comes to growing your hair back.  Exercise helps to reduce stress, which often contributes to hair loss.  Increased stress levels constrict the blood vessels which supply blood to the scalp.  If the blood flow in the scalp area is insufficient, the scalp cannot receive the nutrients that it needs in order to promote hair growth.
  • Dark Green Vegetables- I eat spinach everyday!!  Spinach is an excellent source of vitamins A and C, which your body needs to produce sebum. The oily substance, secreted by your hair follicles, is the body's natural hair conditioner.
  • Beans- Legumes like kidney beans and lentils should be an important part of your hair-care diet. Not only do they provide plentiful protein to promote hair growth, but ample iron, zinc, and biotin.
  • Nuts- Brazil nuts are one of nature's best sources of selenium, an important mineral for the health of your scalp. Walnuts contain alpha-linolenic acid, an omega-3 fatty acid that may help condition your hair. They are also a terrific source of zinc, as are cashews, pecans, and almonds. A zinc deficiency can lead to hair shedding, so make sure nuts are a regular on your healthy hair menu.
  • Poultry- Protein is important for your hair. The high quality they provide will help give your hair the health you crave!
  • Salmon- Too bad I'm allergic to salmon. It's loaded with omega-3 fatty acids.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Moisture and Protein

Moisture                         

Hair needs water to maintain its elasticity, or ability to stretch. Since water is the ultimate moisturizer, water-based products are best for really getting the greatest moisture benefit.
Moisturizers are  products that are water-based and nourish your hair deep within the strand. Products with moisturizing properties tend to be your conditioners and other specific moisturizer sprays or creams. Moisturizers may also contain large amounts of protein, but these protein based moisturizers do not have the moisturizing benefit that moisture-based moisturizers have. You want to find moisturizers that will not contain filler ingredients like petrolatum, mineral oil, or lanolin. Avoid products that state moisturizing benefits and contain these ingredients like petrolatum and mineral oil. These ingredients cannot do anything for the hair. They are sealants that seal out the moisture our hair needs.

Protein
Hair is about 70% keratin protein. With that being said,  services such as color, and pressing, flat-ironing, curling and etc, can also result in the damage of protein bonds. Protein is key in helping to minimize, and even prevent breakage at the line of demarcation [the area where your new growth, meets relaxed hair).
 Protein-based products reinforce the hair shaft, and help it remain strong enough to fight breakage.
Some proteins are stronger than others, but daily or even weekly use of even the milder protein treatments may result in an imbalance between the protein and moisture levels within the hair strands in some people.  You have to play around with different products to know how strong they are on your particular hair. Your hair protein tolerance will vary from product to product, not necessarily protein to protein.

Recommended Products for Protein
 Aphogee 2 Minute Keratin Reconstructor, Aphogee Treatment for Damaged  Hair, Aubrey Organics GPB, Cantu Shea Butter Break Cure, Egg and Mayonnaise, and  2+1 by Sebastian.

I can't speak for all of these products except the Aubrey Organics GPB. I've heard great things about these products, but be careful with the Aphogee. Aphogee is more stronger than your normal protein treatment. Aubrey Organic GPB is a more milder treatment.  

Recommended Products for Moisture
Herbal Essence (Hello Hydration), Paul Mitchell the conditioner (leave in conditioner), Shea Moisture (leave in conditioner), Giovanni Direct, and Amla & Olive Heavy Cream Qhemet Biologics.



Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Chicken Confetti Spaghetti





This recipe is a staple that I love to cook every once in awhile. I like to pair it with a nice Green vegetable and you have a well balanced meal.  I love that the recipe is light and filling at the same time. You won't be disappointed!

Ingredients
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
8 oz spaghetti pasta
10 oz cooked, diced chicken (about 2 1/2 cups) ( I like to use a rotisserie chicken)
1 (4-oz) jar diced pimentos (drained)
8 oz trinity mix (fresh diced onions, bell peppers, celery)
1 (10.5-oz) can condensed cream of mushroom soup
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 (14.5-oz) can reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 1/4 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1 cup panko bread crumbs

Prep
•Preheat oven to 425°F.
•Bring water to boil for pasta.
•Cut butter into small pieces; place in medium bowl and set aside to soften.

Steps
1.Break pasta into 2-inch-long pieces before adding to boiling water; cook and stir 5 minutes or until partially tender.
2.Combine in microwave-safe bowl: chicken, pimentos, trinity mix, soup, salt, pepper, and broth. Cover and microwave on HIGH 2–3 minutes or until hot and vegetables begin to soften.
3.Drain pasta and stir into vegetable mixture; transfer to 2-quart baking dish. Stir cheese and bread crumbs into butter. Mix with fingertips until crumbly; spread evenly over chicken mixture. Bake 15–20 minutes or until bubbly around edges. Let stand 5 minutes before serving. (Makes 6 servings.)

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Hair Regimen


My hair regimen is very simple.  I like to wash and deep condition every other week alternating with a mild protein deep conditioner. Here's a step by step process on what I like to do to my hair.

Step 1- Separate my hair into 4 sections before I shampoo. I like
to add a leave in  conditioner to help with detangling. My tangle teaser is my
best friend for detangling. I will twist each section and hold it with a clamp.

Step 2- Now it's time to shampoo. I like to use a sulfate free shampoo, which I
recommend. Sulfate shampoos will strip the hair of its natural oils, leaving the
hair very dry and dull. Focus on your scalp while shampooing. Massage your scalp
while  shampooing the hair. Massaging helps stimulate the blood flow which helps
feed the hair follicles. This will promote hair growth.

Step 3- I then saturate each section with Herbal Essence rinse out conditioner
(Retwisting each section once I'm finished).

Step 4- Now it's time for my deep treatment. I like to apply Aubrey Organics Honey Suckle
Rose and Castor oil to each section.
I Keep hair twisted adding a plastic shower cap or a plastic grocery bag over my
head.  Sit under the dryer for 30 minutes.

Step 5- After 30 minutes, I rinse out the conditioner with cool water for each section.
Using cool water will close the pores and leave a natural shine to the hair.
Since I'm a busy Mom, I really don't have time to work on hair the whole day so
I like to wear my hair in a bun for several days and then twist my hair.

Travel Tips While Traveling with Toddlers and Infants





This weekend we decided to take a trip to Atlanta to visit family. We make sure to pack items that will keep the kids busy and fun for everyone. Here's some tips that will probably help you when traveling.

  • Always pack the night before- This saves a lot of time the next day and you are not rushed to pack everything under the sun.
  • Prepare bottles- I always have a bottle ready and another one prepared with only formula.
  • Travel during nap time- This will cut the entertaining at least 2 hours.
  • Pack things to do (Bring DVD player)- We try not to let the TV babysit our kids, but while traveling it can be a life saver!
  • Favorite Toy- Its very important to bring a couple of their favorite toys. I know my son will make sure he has his favorite super hero men before we go anywhere. When he has his favorite toys, he's a happy traveler! :)
  • Sing songs and Play games-  Kids love to get  involve when you're singing and playing games. Their enjoying themselves and learning at the same time. Before you know it, you're almost at your destination.
  • Bath room Break- Please make sure you stop in order for the kids to use the bathroom and get a little break from the car. They will feel more comfortable and not so cranky.
  • Pack food (Very Important)- We love to pack fruit snacks, fresh fruit, sandwiches and juice boxes.
  • Break the trip- For longer trips more than 3 hours, break the trip up into one day or half day segments. This gives you and the kids a break.
  • Travel at night- Sometimes it's best to travel with infants and toddlers at night because most of the time they will sleep and they are no trouble.

  • Take your time and enjoy your road trip with your beautiful kids!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

How to Get A Successful Twistout

My staple hairstyle would be my all time favorite, the popular twist out! Twisting your hair keeps the hair tangle free and moisturized.  It also helps with stretching the hair to give it more length.  Here's several tips for having a successful twist out.

  • Make sure hair is conditioned and detangled.
  • Section hair into 4 or 6 sections.
  • Start from the back adding a dime size amount of your favorite creamy leave in, unrefined shea butter and a very small amount of your favorite gel.
  • Make sure to get a good grip on your twist.  You don't want a loose twist.
  • Twist each section.
  • You should have about 20 to 30 twists.
  • I like to secure the twists with White perm rods, which gives it an extra curl. This works great for transitioning, because you still get a curly look.
  • Make sure the twists are completely DRY!!! Very Important!
  • Before you unravel the twist, add a dime size amount of coconut oil or jojoba oil to the ends of the twist and then begin to unravel.
  • Take your time, so you won't create frizz.
  • Remember, the more hair you pull apart from the twist, the bigger the hair gets.  Some areas may require you to do that and some may not.
  • Now fluff and go!!


Sunday, March 4, 2012

Do I Have Enough Time!


Do you ever wonder how you  are going  to take care of every duty in the home and also manage that Mane of yours!! I feel like there's a clock in my head that's ticking away.  On every other Sunday, I try to make sure that the evening is catered to my hair for wash and deep treatments.  After that, it usually goes in a bun! I have to say that I have a great husband who doesn't mind given me the time to maintain the care of my hair.  During the week days, it's a bit more challenging because I'm trying to prepare dinner, feed the kids, and get them prepared for the next day.  Of course, I have to make time to play with the kids. Now it's 8 or 9:00 p.m. and I'm worn out, but I still have that 2 day old twist out that needs to be retwisted.  On days like that, I try to give myself at least 10 to 15 twists.  If you feel like there's never enough time, give yourself half the twists you would normally do in order to create a definition and curl.  The good thing about re twisting is that it tends to go quicker, since hair has been detangled and twisted. Having a family and natural hair is definitely a challenge, but I wouldn't trade it for the world!!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

LOVE



So today I asked my son what does love mean and he says it's in your heart.  It can't get any sweeter than that.  It made me think of the love I have for Jesus Christ.  As long as we're sincere in our hearts, God will forgive us of our sins and love us unconditionally. Thank God for wisdom!

Staple Products


My Staple Products

In the process of going natural, I was never one to buy countless of products.  I bought a few every once in awhile, but my goal was to keep it simple as possible.  Every time I would try something new, I would always come back to those special products that gave my hair moisture and the definition it needed.

Shampoo- Apple cider vinegar/ Jason Tea tree oil
Rinse out Conditioner- Herbal Essence (Hello Hydration)
Deep Conditioner- Aubrey Organics Honey Suckle Rose
Protein Conditioner- Aubrey Organics GPB
Leave in Conditioner- Paul Mitchell the Conditioner, Giovanni Direct, Bee Mine Moisturizer, Knot Today
Moisturizer-Unrefined Shea butter
Oils- Castor oil, Olive oil, Coconut oil, and Jojoba oil
Gels- ECO styler, Komaza Coconut Hair pudding
Wet and gos- Kinky Curly custard