Saturday, January 22, 2011

Keeping Long Hair Healthy & Shiny

Happy Saturday, everyone! 

I get compliments on the health of my hair often and people ask me how I keep it healthy when it's long.  I thought I'd share some of my favorite DIY tips that don't break the bank. 

There are several factors to consider when choosing how to best care for your long locks.  The most important is probably your hair type.  As you can see from the photo to the right, my hair is straight and I have fine strands.  Because of my hair type, I have a fairly easy time taking care of it.  It doesn't require too much styling so most days I let it air dry after applying an olive oil polishing serum (mostly toward the ends). 

However, if your hair is wavy or curly, it may take more styling and different products to manage it and keep it healthy. 

There's a few universal things we can all do, though, to keep our hair healthy regardless of type:

1.  Know your hair's tolerance for washing.  While some people produce more oil on the scalp than others, they can wash daily.  Others that are prone to dry hair and breakage may want to only wash every other day (what I do). 

2.  Remove product residue.  Clarifying shampoos have made their way to the market for a reason.  If your hair is looking dull, it may not be dry - it might have too much product build-up.  There are numerous clarifying shampoos to choose from ranging from cheap to expensive, but again, find one that suits your hair type.  I actually use baking soda mixed with my regular shampoo about once a month to remove residue.  This works well for me, but if you color your hair, you probably want to find one meant for color-treated hair.  Baking soda can strip your color.  Also, depending on how much product frequents your hair, you may want to clarify more or less often.

3.  Condition!!  I can't stress it enough how important conditioning is.  It helps reduce tangles and lock in moisture.  I live in such a windy place, that it is my hair's worst enemy.  I have to keep it as moisturized as possible and protect my hair from the wind as much as I can because it will rip the moisture from my hair like a band-aid rips out arm hair!  While daily conditioning is good, especially in dry winter months, I also like to do a deep conditioner every now and then.  Below are a few options for at-home deep conditioning.
  • Option 1:  Hot oil treatment.  These are simple to do, but can be messy so don't wear your best clothes.  I usually opt for olive oil or coconut oil.  I get about a 1/4 cup of oil and warm it up in the microwave.  I have the cheapest microwave that Wal-Mart can provide so mine takes a little longer to heat.  Be sure to check it often because your microwave temp and time will vary from mine.  You don't want it to be so hot it burns you.   While the oil heats, wet a thin towel.  You want it to be completely saturated, but wring it out so it isn't dripping all over.  When the oil is done, put your towel in the microwave and let it heat up (but again not so hot it will burn you).  Saturate your hair with the oil - started at the ends and working your way up to the roots.  Once your hair is saturated, take your warm towel and wrap it on your head and place a plastic bag over it.  You may look funny, but the soft, shiny results are nothing to laugh at!  I generally keep this on for about 20 minutes then wash and condition as normal.  
  • Option 2:  Use a store/salon-bought deep conditioner.  I have tried Nexxus Humectress Hydrating Treatment and the generic Joico K Pak Penetrating Reconstructor that you can purchase at Sally's Beauty Supply.  The name brand Joico will cost about $19 at your local salon.  I'm too frugal for that.  Anyway, I use this after I've washed and conditioned with my usual products.  I then towel dry and comb my hair before applying the deep conditioner.  Once i apply the deep conditioner, I again grab a bag and put it on my head.  This time, I blow dry on high for about 5-10 minutes then let it set for about 10-15 before removing the bag and rinsing my hair thoroughly.  
Both options give me great results and I hope you'll benefit from them as well!

4.  Trim Regularly.  Long hair can get stringy at the ends, especially on thinner hair like mine.  Keeping the ends regularly trimmed will not only sever your ties with split ends, it will also keep the hair looking fuller and loved. 

The one area I still have issue with, and haven't figured out how to fix, is annoying baby hair!  I don't know about you, but I have lots of baby hairs around my hairline.  If you have any tips for taming these, please divulge your secrets!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

No More Complaining

Before my head hit the pillow last night, I was yawning so much that tears were streaming down my face.  All I could think about was how grateful I am to have a soft pillow and warm bed to rest on at the end of each day.  And as I laid there in that drugged-like state between fully conscious and dead to the world, I began to think about how much I have to be thankful for. 

So often, we take the basic necessities and comforts of life for granted.  It's really all a matter of perspective and how we CHOOSE to see our life, our circumstances, our place in the world.  In a recent conversation someone said to me, "Sometimes we spend our time complaining that we don't have new shoes until we see someone that doesn't have feet." 

Those words resonated with me because it shifted my thinking.  It made me see that so much of what I complain about is trivial.  When it's cold outside, I shouldn't complain; I should be thankful for the warm clothes, blankets, roof over my head and job to keep the heat paid. 

So with that in mind, I've been trying to keep my thoughts more positive.  I started this blog partly because I needed an outlet, but also because I didn't want to keep discouraging myself the way I had been.  I was always telling myself, "I wanna write, but my life is too boring to write about.  I have nothing major going on so what could I have to say?"  Then it occurred to me that I don't need major life events to define my writing.  Who says I need to be pregnant or buying a house or any of that?  I have a lot to say.  I have a lot on my mind and I have things to share.  It doesn't matter how big or small, I can share it.

So here I am - sharing.  And, as I write this, I hear the wind blasting outside my house.  It [the wind] may still stir up every imaginable demon within the depths of my soul; but tonight, I'm inside...sheltered from the wind.  Thankfully. 

Homemade Tacos!!

Menu tonight?  Homemade tacos - one of my favorite meals.  I don't actually follow recipes, but I'll try to detail how I made them.

Since this was a meal for one, the quantities aren't large so when making for a larger group of people, you'd want to at least double everything.

First, I boiled a medium size potato.  While I waited for the that to boil, I played
scrabble online.

When the potato was done I emptied the pot and reused it to fry 1/2lb of ground beef.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Once the beef is cooked, use a paring knife to peel your potato and cut thin slices into your pot of meat.

Mix the potatoes with the hamburger, mashing it a bit so it all sticks together well.  Add a little season salt and mix.  Set aside on a back burner set on low.

Next, I made flour tortillas (yummy).  I get a mixing bowl and fill it with a cup of flour.  I also add a little salt and baking powder (not too much, maybe a teaspoon or so).  Then, place a small amount of canola or vegetable oil in your palm and mix into the flour.  Pour a little hot water over your mixture and begin kneading.  Add small amounts of water as needed to make the tortilla dough.

Roll your tortillas with a cookie dough roller and begin cooking in a medium-high heat flat or shallow pan (you can also use a flat cast iron griddle).

Once the tortillas are done, you heat some oil in a shallow pan and fold the tortilla in half before frying.

Fill the shell with your meat & potato mixture, top with cheddar cheese, salsa and lettuce & tomato, and enjoy!

You can also make your own salsa!

What I do:

Mince 2 green onions, small clove of garlic, 1/4 to 1/2 large jalapeno, and one small tomato.  Pan fry them with a small amount of oil, adding crushed red pepper to the mix.   Add a small can of tomato sauce and some salt.  Let simmer, stirring occasionally.   Turn heat down to low and cover until ready to use.

I hope you enjoy!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

For the Love of Big-Lipped Beauties

How many of you saw these photos in the entertainment news recently?
Photo of Kim Kardashian that led to allegations she had lip work recently.
A flurry of accusations that Kim had lip work done popped up all over the Internet.  The woman has beautiful full lips that genetics kindly donated to her.  Why would she need any additional work?

While she denied the accusations, it continues to amuse me the things people come up with.  It's as if they refuse to believe that some beauty does occur naturally.  If a woman has a great set of lips or perky round ass, it must be because she had work done.  Not so!

I can relate to Kim on this issue.  Since I was about 14, I can remember people asking where I got my work done.  Really?  You're asking a 14 year old CHILD where she got her lips done?

My hate for my lips started when I entered middle school.  I remember the boys would make fun of my lips.  I think the nickname they used was "fish lips."  Yet, now that I'm old enough to appreciate the beauty of full lips, I would proudly own that label.  Yes, I have fish lips, and YOU wish you could kiss them, loser!  Something that used to make me so self-conscious is now what I consider one of my best physical assets.  I love my lips.  And, bonus - I didn't have to pay a dime for them.

So, Kim had the flu and it caused some swelling.  Who cares?  I wake up with swollen lips almost daily.  It doesn't mean I had work done in my sleep.  And it doesn't mean she did either.

Now, when people ask where I got them done, I smile and say, "In the womb."  Some don't believe that; some congratulate me.  Either way, they make me happy!  So, ladies, if you can relate to this plight - embrace what God gave you! 


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Iron Deficient Anemia?

For the last 11 months, I've regularly donated blood (about every 8 weeks).  My hemoglobin levels have been normal up until this last month when I went to donate.  Hemoglobin is a protein in your blood that carries iron to your body.  Donating blood can deplete your body's iron stores, or any other form of heavy bleeding (having a heavy p-e-r-i-o-d).  So, apparently my iron levels haven't been restored since the last time I donated blood, and diet alone isn't helping me much.

Not having enough iron has caused me to be sleepy almost constantly.  I'll have bursts of energy, but overall, sleep sounds like the most wonderful thing in the world!  Even my giant mug of coffee in the morning does little to wake me up.

So, in my normal fashion, I took to Google.  I've researched the type of iron your body absorbs best (heme or animal sources) and what helps your absorb it (vitamin C not coffee, tea or calcium).  So, I've adjusted my diet to try to absorb it more, but I also bought some iron supplements.  They are ferrous sulfate iron supplements that are supposed to have higher absorbency than some of the other supplement types on the market.

The pills arrived in the mail today so I'm giving them a try.  I'm hoping in a couple of weeks I'll have increased energy and be able to bring this damn iron up.  I'll post an update when I try to donate blood again because they will let me know if my iron is high enough.  I'll also just update as to how I'm feeling and if the pills are helping.

In case anyone else is dealing with the same thing, here's a link to the iron supplements I started on today in case you're interested: - Ferrous Sulfate

Sunday, January 16, 2011

More about me...

Based on the title of my blog, you may have gathered that common sense isn't my best quality.  I tend to do things that make people ask, "What the fuck?".  Some examples?  Sure. 

I used to have a fear of moths.  Everything about them made me shiver and the dust on their tiny wings literally made me itch if it made contact with my skin!  Every summer I'd find myself in tears (no, really...actual tears) when they would attack me in an attempt to bring me to my demise.  As most people know, moths are attracted to light, and one summer night I found myself trying to coax one out of my lamp so I could kill it.  The little bastard wasn't having it.  At this point, I'm freaking the fuck out and asking my boyfriend what I should do. 

I think the conversation went something like, "Oh. My. God!  It's hiding in the there and if I look into the lamp, I'm gonna go BLIND because the light is so bright!  What the hell do I do?" 

His response, "Why don't you just turn the light off?" 

Umm, probably because I didn't think about it... 

There was another time when I was sure that spraying PAM non-stick spray on a preheated oven rack would keep my trans-fat laden pizza from sticking to it.  I don't think I've ever felt such burning in my eyes or appreciated fresh air as much as I did that day.

Hence, the self-diagnosis of Delayed Common Sense came to be.

I have a few other self-diagnosed disorders, such as Random Intermittent Memory (R.I.M.) and Attention Deficit Disorder (A.D.D.).  While the latter is an actual disorder, I've never been diagnosed by a mental health professional.  However, the distraction I experience when I have random thoughts or need to write something down lest I forget it within 30 seconds, would support my theory. 

So, that's me in a nutshell.  I also love food and shopping and makeup and shoes and clothes and icecream...  But we'll probably cover those things in future blogs. 


Welcome to my blog!  While new to the blogging world (and much behind the curve), I've decided to give it a try. 

I'm 26 years old and spend my days in an office, allegedly causing my back great suffering.  I love what I do, but some days there's no creative outlet.  So, I'm looking forward to creating that outlet here. 

Throughout my life, I've been better at expressing my thoughts and feelings in written form than in spoken form.  Most of the reason I haven't taken to blogging or other creative forms of writing is simply laziness.  It's time to move away from the complacency of life and push myself to accomplish more - even if the accomplishments are small in scope. 

I hope that anyone who comes across this blog will find the postings either helpful or humorous or at least in some way relatable.  Regardless of where we reside on this earth, most of us have the same basic physical and emotional needs.  So whether you're in a big city or in a rural town and happen upon this site - I hope you find something of interest!

Looking forward to joining the blogging community one word at a time.