Hair Care Routine/Products  2017

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I just got back into my hair after neglecting it for so long. A friend of mine is having some hair care struggles of her own and we talked about different products she could try. It reminded me of how much I love my hair and how I used to go broke  using all the latest products just to keep it looking good. Not anymore. My routine is not only simple, it’s pretty affordable. Gone are the days where I will spend $36 on a curl creme. Now, I’m outchea being cute on a budget. 

First, obviously, your hair has to be clean. I tried co washing for awhile but I didn’t like it,so I went back to shampoo. I usually use Alberto VO5 Moisture Milks Strawberry Milkshake moisturizing shampoo but if I want to spare another $1.50, I will buy this:

It feels like you’re washing your hair with silk. I feel like a Queen using this shampoo. It has a lot of suds,which I like in my cleaner.

After washing, I have to deep condition my strands.I do it every two weeks. It’s important to hold on to the moisture from the shampoo and the added moisturizing ingredients from the conditioner. So my go to right now is:

It smells like lemons and it’s a protein conditioner,which means it helps strengthen the hair which in turn helps with breakage.  I section my hair in four, apply large amounts on my hair,wrap my bonnet around it,then my silk scarf for added heat so the product can penetrate. I leave it for 45 minutes and wash it out.

You could do a hot oil treatment after that step, I’m too lazy to do it. If you’re not going to do this,then I suggest following up with a moisturizing conditioner because protein conditioners are a bit drying. We want to keep as much moisture in the hair as possible,so try not to skip this step. However,  for those of you who cheat like I do and go straight to your leave in conditioner, here’s what I like to use:

Not gonna lie, I originally chose this simply for its bright yellow container. But it smell so good,y’all!!!  It can also double as a moisturizing conditioner and it works well for anti breakage protection.  I section my hair in six for this because the product seems to penetrate better when my hair is in smaller sections . I make sure I get the ends first and work my way up with my fingers. I let it dry for a minute or two then I apply:

 

I don’t use hair grease at all and if you do I STRONGLY suggest you stop now. It has petroleum in it which blocks the pores,cutting off hair growth. Bye bye to Dax and Sulfur 8. I use Jamaican Black castor oil with coconut oil. The castor oil helps the hair grow, thicken,and seal in  moisture  and the coconut oil helps strengthen the hair. I put some on my fingers and massage it into my scalp. I put a bit on the ends. It’s a heavy consistency so I use it sparingly. I don’t like my hair feeling weighed down. I leave the hair to air dry for about an hour before I’m ready to style and right now my favorite styler is:

 Black Castor Oil/Flaxseed

Coconut Oil

I have always loved ECO Styler Gel and I’m so glad they added these as options. They’re heavy like most gels but not quite as transparent. The gel actually sparkles like it has glitter in it,but when I’ve applied it, there was no sign of glitter.  After letting my hair dry for a bit, I start twisting it using the gel to hold the twist. I apply gel at the base of each twist so that it will lay down and at the end to keep the twist from unraveling.

And that’s  it! I wrap my hair up at night with a bonnet or silk scarf and in the morning I shake my head out and go. I try to stick to this routine every two weeks and I think I have found what works for me…for now. How do you take care of your tresses? What are you using?

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Now Is The Time of Year When…

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Now is the time of year when…

Sweaters become jackets 

Hoodies morph into hats

Now is the time of year when…

The Sun shines through the trees turning yellow leaves into the gold you know must be in Heaven

Leaves of bright red turn crimson with the setting Sun and dropping temperatures 

Now is the time of year when…

A daughter’s first decade is celebrated  with a store bought ice cream cake 

And a feast of thanks giving celebrated on the same day

Now is the time of year when…

You’re usually brisk walk to the train station or bus stop is made even quicker from the sting of the cold

Now is the time of year when…

You damn yourself for not  carrying the little packet of tissues you just bought 

As you hold your head skyward  to hold in the snot

And thank the Heavens for the Autumn you witness…

Namaste…ish

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Just wanted to drop in and update you guys on my morning routine. Full disclosure: I have stopped and started this routine 2 times already. Third time’s the charm,they say. This go round I’ve stuck with it for almost a week. That’s a record for me because I drop out of self care things within a couple of days. This is different.  Why, you ask?

About two months ago, an ex of mine and so were catching up and he said “You haven’t changed at all in the said years I’ve known you. Don’t you want to try something different?” He was referring to my hair and clothing style,such earned him an onslaught of words that would make a sailor blush. However,he did implant in my mind that there  are  changes I’d like to make to my life style and well being and the way I approach it. Enter The Miracle Morning(TMM). I figure that a change in me will start when from when I wake up in the morning.

TMM follows a formula created by the author of the book called Life S.A.V.E.R.S. They are the steps you take during the routine. You can switch the order around if you want but here is what the routine consists of:

Silence. You can take a silent walk(sans phone), meditate,oeay,do breathing exercises,etc. Whatever you choose,do it in silence. This gives you a chance to get dome mental clarity,focus on the goals ahead if you, and it’s strss relieving.

Affirmations. Oprah does affirmations. That’s good enough for me.

A few of my affirmations. I have night time ones as well.

Visualization. Vision boards help to keep you motivated on where your trying to go and what you’re trying to do. You can choose to have a physical one where you can see it every day or an online one. Here is mine.

Exercise. This one is my least favorite   I HATE working out but I do love yoga.  I have a serious internal battle every day to get it together and hit the mat. Once I do, I feel better. This is my favorite workout (cuz it’s easy)

Reading. Obvi, this one is my favorite.  It’s suggested that you read something motivational or self help related. After I’m done with TMM,  I’ll be reading Present Over Perfect by Shauna Niequist. 

Scribing. This is a journaling exercise. I use the journaling to summarize my thoughts and feelings about what I’ve learned during my MM that morning. I jot down how I’ve improved that day,changes I want to make,and one thing I’m grateful for that morning. 

I feel a lot more energized,motivated,and positive since starting TMM. Im moving forward career wise because I have the confidence in my abilities now. I’d say that’s a big win!

School of Not-So -Hard Knocks

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Here in NYC, the children have started school. My luscious Amani is a proud, but cautious, fourth grader. The air is changing and I’ve had to dig up her jacket for our walks to school in the morning. Everything is changing. Including me.

For those of you who have stuck it out and been following me here, I recently started a morning routine suggested by a friend called The Miracle Morning.  I have started it and failed…twice. Today was my third attempt and it went well. I’m going to stick with it this time. I am so stoked. But on my journey of self care, I’ve gotten sucked into another self help type book called 
“>Present Over Perfect: Leaving Behind Frantic For A Simpler,More Soulful Way of Living by Shauna Niequist. 
It’s a mouthful,right? It was recommended by the swme friend who recommended Miracle Morning.I could always use a little guidance when it comes to self care.
But that’s not all I’ve gotten up to to keep myself busy. I was thinking of doing more visual type things here and in an effort to get some really good practice, I’ve started a Periscope account. And I’ve joined a FB group called PeriGirls. They are a group of fabulous women who come from all walks of life and have come together to lift each other up via social media. We do Pass The Cast, PeriokeDaily Assignments, and Saturday Express. It’s so much fun,we learn alot from each other,and it’s  easy to sign up. Oh, and everything has a theme. I’m way more comfortable recording myself so you’ll be seeing me alot more. 

To make myself feel more useful around my house until I’ve found decent outside work again, I’ve joined a Facebook group called FEEL GOOD MAMA ESSENTIALS and right now it’s  holding a Back to School Camp For Moms which helps moms make the most of their household chores and manage time better. I’ll be a regular June Cleaver in no time.

Last but not least, there is my bookstagram. I have a library card with no over due fees that Im ready burn like a Black card. I am obsessed with books but as of late I’m finding it hard to finish them. I posted a Victorian Reading Challenge that I fully intended to keep up with but…Im going to have to move that to next year. I have some great books I’m actually reading on there as well as some bookish podcasts I’ve discovered.  If you’re REALLY my peoples you’ll follow me at concreterosereads

What’s new or changing in September for you? Are you making any personal changes? Let me know what’s good in the comments!!!

Weekly Wrap Up: 8/6-8/13

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Hey, there!!! Thanks for stopping in for my first EVER weekly round up!!! I read so may articles, watch a lot of videos,and look at beautiful images every day for research. I’ve come across some stuff I think you guys might like so every Sunday at 10pm EST, I’m going to share my favorites from around the web. Enjoy!!!
Amani will be going back to school in a little less than a month’s time and I want to start making her lunch myself so I looked around for some ways I can make things easier. Here’s what I dug up:

Tasty Junior- Hacks To Make Packing Lunches Easier 

Mama Kat- 7 Steps To Lunchbox Joy!

The Pioneer Woman- How To Prep Veggies for The Week

The Young Mommy Life- 6 Tips To Wean Your Kids off Sugar

I recently started an Instagram account featuring my favorite things,books! I follow MANY bookstagram accounts and here are a few of my fave images this week:

The Roaming Reader

Concrete Rose Reads

Blue Eyes Biblio

Book Briefs

I seemed to have turned into a podcast junkie. I have a ton of favorites but here are the ones that stuck in my head:

The Arkham Sessions- The Pyschology of Batman: The Animated Series at SAN Diego Comic Con

The NoSleep Podcast-Season 9,episode 14

PRINCE: Dig If You Will The Podcast- Baby,He’s A Star:A Snapshot of Fandom

My Miracle Morning

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I’m not usually one for self help books. In fact, I think they’re mostly a load of crap. I can count on less than five fingers how many I’ve actually read cover to cover. They just aren’t my thing. 

However,  I stumbled upon a Facebook page called Ditch the Diet,Find JOY in fitness and LIVE A F*UCK YES LIFE which is run by Amanda Katherine Loy . I listened to a live feed she did where she discussed her new book club pick, The Miracle Morning: THE NOT-SO OBVIOUS SECRET GUARANTEED TO TRANSFORM YOUR LIFE BEFORE 8AM. She talks about how the book has helped her get some self care done before she starts her own day. THAT peaked my interest.
As a SAHM, I always have felt like I had no reason for self care because I’m home all day. I only have one child and she doesn’t stir up a fuss so why do I need time for self care? The answer: because not taking care of myself mentally or emotionally has taken away my motivation and confidence. I’m taking an exam for a job soon and although I’ve been studying, I have already defeated myself about it in my head.

I don’t like that feeling so I figured that I have  to change something. During the school year,from the time I wake up I’m rushing to get my daughter out of the door. I snap at her when its5not necessary and I really don’t like that. I started wondering if there isnt a way for me to start the day off right before I engage with anyone. And then I found The Miracle Morning.

I just got my hands on my copy Tuesday evening but I did attempt it (using Amanda’s guidelines) that morning and yesterday as well. Mentally, I feel better but physically,not so much. From what I understand if the Life S.A.V.E.R.S method used,there is an exercise component to the Miracle Morning. That’s an issue for me because I can’t afford a gym membership…AT ALL.So to compensate I will be doing yoga via YouTube. I haven’t done yoga since high school so twisting my body around feels awkward and unnatural. But I’m going to stick with it.

Selecting a journal and writing my affirmations

My goal is to become a happier,calmer,more energized and driven woman by the time Amani goes back to school next month. I do have things I need to take care of career wise and personally and my hope is that the Miracle Morning will help. Have any of you tried the Miracle Morning? Did it help? If you haven’t tried it, do you have a solid morning routine?

Tales of A Fourth Grader…

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Amani will be going to 4th grade come September.  I am very proud of her accomplishment because 3rd grade was her first year having to take the state exams for reading and math. I knew she had some areas she struggled in and I just prayed everything would work out. And it did. Not only will she be going to 4th grade,she got this as a memento of the third grade:

Most Likely to Excel in Life

Not to mention the two medals she won on Field Day. How could I not be proud?

When I was in 4th grade, I had a strict teacher,Mrs.Rios. I remember she wore this monochromatic pink lipstick that would slide into the corners of her mouth. She had a thick Spanish accent and even thicker black hair. She always had this uninterested scowl on her face but she knew everything that went on in class 401. I was a good student  but my Math suffered and it made me hate Math. I would always let my mind wander during our multiplication drills and I paid for it by having to write the table 1-12 twenty five times each. 

I also kept a juny desk in fourth grade. Every week, Mrs.Rios made me clean out all the junk in front of the entire class. It embarrassed me the first couple of times,which was probably the intent, but then it just became routine. She eventually gave up and let me clean out my desk in my normal spot.  She wasn’t my favorite teacher because she tried to break my hard headed nature. Even now, I still resent her. Here’s to Amani having a better experience!

#JumpstartYourJournal Day 5- Permission 

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It’s our last day of the #JumpstartYourJournal challenge
Today’s prompt is PERMISSION
What does your “dream life” look like? Are you currently living it? If not, what is holding you back from being there? Is there something standing in your way? Do you give yourself permission to be free in all possible ways?

HERE IS MY dream life

Picture it, New York 2020:

I live in a predominantly African American neighborhood, Addisleigh Park,in my native home of Queens,New York City. I just got my driver’s license(“Finally!”my mother says)and now I can drive Amani to her ballet class instead of schlepping her back and forth on the bus.


My (future) home in Addisleigh Park

During the day,I’m a school safety officer. I’ve been assigned to an elementary school in my neighborhood. I like that because it allows me to be at home when Amani arrives from her afterschool activities. I cook dinner twice a week and once a month we do a take out night. Usually that’s the day my mom visits. She’s so judgemental about my cooking, I rather eat out. She babysits for me 2x a month so that I can have a night out. Sometimes that’s date night,other times it’s girls’ night.

I have a boyfriend. We’ve been seriously dating for a year. He’s a city employee with aspirations of becoming a businessman in the music industry. I met him at a singles event a friend of mine hosted.

My blog is doing well. I’m starting to get a few paying gigs and more connections in the blogging/online media world. My current goal is to get a column in Ebony magazine. Not sure how I’m going to be able to handle work,Amailni and her activities,and a column when I start attending school to become a veterinarian next Fall. Well,I did make this far…

AND YES, I GIVE MYSELF PERMISSION TO BE THIS WOMAN IN THREE YEARS!!!

#JumpstartYourJournal Day4- Create

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It’s Day 4 of the #JumpstartYourJournal challenge. How is it going so far? If you’ve been meaning to jump in but haven’t yet, don’t stress. Just grab a pen and paper (or open the Notes app on your phone) and start today. 
Today’s prompt is CREATE. Some questions to get you started: 
What has been your greatest creation? What have you created lately that fills you up with joy? What are those things you long to create that are on your list of possibilities? 

Whenever I think of ways to describe myself, I always say creative. That means that I love to create…in different mediums. I love to write but I also love to crochet,color,scrapbook, and most recently make slime. Growing up, I loved trying different arts and crafts activities and couldn’t wait to see the new sets the toy store had. Btw, Toys R Us’ Imaginarium section is great for those of you who have little creators of your own.

My greatest creation (aside from Amani) is this here blog. I started it in 2012 after making the decision to go natural. I really wanted to somehow intertwine natural hair care and motherhood.Well, Mommy In Color has gone through a few changes in my quest to find my niche. As a matter of fcat,fact I’m still looking for it. I’m sure most experienced bloggers balk at the idea that I don’t know/have my niche yet. However, I like that I dabble in different subjects,challenges,and prompts. That just means I have something for everyone who visits this space.  Hence the name of my blog. I want to explore all the colors of life.

Mommy In Color is an extension of myself. When I have visitors,I want them to feel like they’re meeting me in the flesh. I want my readers to get a friendly and relaxed vibe and to understand that I’m an open minded person who enjoys writing. Admittedly, I am a lazy writer but I’m always drafting posts and thinking of ways to revamp Mommy In Color. 

 I promise to post more often. I have a small readership and I want to keep them. Starting in September,I will be posting 2x a week and I hope to take my blog to a new level in some way. I started a Instagram account for my books, and I’m thinking I would like to start reviewing books either here or maybe a new blog. I’m not sure what the future holds but I will ALWAYS have Mommy In Color !

#JumpstartYourJournal Day 3-Refuge

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Welcome to day 3 of our #JumpstartYourJournal challenge, where we commit to journaling 5-10 minutes a day to help clear our mind and get clarity on where we’re headed. 
Today’s prompt is REFUGE. Spend a few minutes considering:
Where do you feel safe? When faced with challenges or stress, who or what do you turn to first? How do those safe spaces serve you? 

This one is easy. I have always found solace in libraries. Like, I love books and just reading itself reduces stress levels. But more often than not,I’m still at the place where I’m feeling the most stress(home). So when I want to completely shut out all the noise in my head,I go to the library. It’s number one rule:quiet. I’m not fond if the small one a few blocks from my home,  it it serves it’s purpose. It stops the noise.

Libraries give me a chance to be someone else,somewhere else,and in another time.  A chance to take a little vacation.  I started cutting class i n high school.  As soon as I started perfecting how to do it and not get caught, I spent my time at the huge library a few blocks away from my high school.  My mom were butting heads a lot at home  I was a “loser” at school,and I was sad all the time.  But not at the library.