I went against my better judgement and tried these things and here’s what happened.

Hey lovelies,

I’m stopping by out of the absolute mayhem that is my life to do a mini product review. Well for those who don’t know, I am a trained aesthetician, which means in most of these situations I should have known better. However the excitement of going to the sandy beaches had me off in la-la land and I made some common mistakes. As such, I went against my better judgement and tried some new products and services and here’s how it went.

1. First this Shampoo, Conditioner and Oil treatment set:

This is the Marc Anthony Salon Value pack that I bought at Costco

 

Pros:

It’s sulfate free and comes with moroccon oil treatment that smells heavenly. And it is also quite cost effective.

Cons:

I must have been allergic to something in the mix because my scalp itched for a whole week. I had fine bumps all up and down my scalp, neck, chest and back and my scalp and gums were swollen. The itching persisted for an entire week, despite me washing my hair a number of times. I will not be trying this product ever again and I have dumped the remains, because nobody looks cute beating at their scalp-not even Bey.

Itchy scalp can get relief from tea tree oil

2. I went to a nail salon( known in the spa trade as chop shop) for a mani/pedi and got a foot fungus.

Pros:

I won’t mention the name because the owner was such a sweetheart and she did a great job with the polish design

Cons:

It has been about 4 years since I last visited one of these establishments and it ended up being everything I feared. From the under cleaned foot soak tub to the cutting of the cuticle, I could just feel the germs penetrating my skin. And despite going home and putting tea tree oil all over my feet, I still ended up with flaking skin, redness and burning, all symptoms of athletes foot or some such fungus-yuck. I am currently, almost 2 months later, working on ridding myself of said nuisance. Moral of the story, we know better, so we do better. Go to a renowned spa, do not cut corners or cuticles and for the love of God, leave the disgusting chop shops alone.

Anti fungal

Anti fungal athlete’s foot treatment.

Read about the dangers of nail salons here: http://health.howstuffworks.com/skin-care/nail-care/health/5-nail-salon-infections.htm

There are many at home remedies you can use check out this list to make your own if you believe you may be suffering fungal infection.http://www.besthealthmag.ca/best-you/home-remedies/natural-home-remedies-athletes-foot/#IHc0XhyDraPKOCwx.97

3. I spent a small fortune on Micabella Mineral makeup and ended up with a break out right before my vacation! Never, ever change your make up a week before your vacation, that is just plain stupid -again a case of if you know better…:(

Okay, so to be fair, this may have been just my sensitive skin and I am willing to give them a go again. I got the mineral powder foundation, the perfecting makeup primer, the exfoliating peeling gel and some amazing colours from the natural eye shadow line 

Micabella  mineral eyeshadows

I have included links to the eye shadows and other products if you want to check them out 🙂

.

pros:

The eye shadows are awesome and double as amazing, long lasting and brilliantly coloured lip stains and the peeling gel seems to even out the skin tone. And all these products claim to be natural and made of minerals so may be better for skin. Also the reviews tend to be favourable all round, so I will be using this product again, just more slowly and after testing several times.

Cons:

If you have sensitive skin, prone to crazy reactions when you change products, give yourself a good month or two using small amounts of the products and please for the sake of smooth skin and your goddess status, do not change your products right before you go on vacation. The added sun, stress of traveling and all the other hormonal and break out triggers will just kick in all at once and you will live to rue the day you decided to visit the mall kiosk and give in to the sales lady’s pressure tactics. Also, the foundation seems to work better after exfoliating and if you have oily skin, it doesn’t do as well on the drier areas of my skin.

Moral of this review, do the right thing for your hair and skin. And whenever you wish to try new products, go slowly, test, test and test some more. Because nothing is worst than an itchy scalp and textural damage to the skin you worked so hard to keep smooth.

Have you tried any new products lately? Had a similar experience? Do share your experience with us.

Toodles,

N.

I spent Last Year in Turmoil and Found These Treasures

Howdy dolls,

What a lovely summer it has been so far, are you enjoying it yet? I must say that I am immensely.

So the other night as I sat at my kitchen window, writing and listening to the gurgling of the outdoor pool, I realized how much has happened in my life in the past year. It may sometimes seem like the hell that we are experiencing is so unfortunate and unfair; but I have found some blessings disguised as blisters. Things like standing up for myself, designing my own future and knowing my strengths as they are tested on a daily basis are some of the gifts I received in the last year of my life and I am ever so grateful.

Gifts hidden in hardship

And to think I used to be so afraid of being outside my comfort zone…you know being a good wife and mother and helping Mr Macho achieve his dream while I waited for my turn.So now that I have tossed myself out of that relationship and into the deep waters of uncertainty, I have learned to find comfort in the unknown. And come to have a great appreciation for these other lessons I have gleaned in the last year.

Duality

Have you ever wondered if you are on the right track? If your decisions are smart, guided or just life altering mistakes? Have you ever felt a certain uncertainess about the major decisions in your life? When you meditate, do you ask your inner guide questions like, what do I do next? Is this what I’m supposed to be doing? Am I right in this decision? If so, then take comfort in knowing you are not alone. Most of the greatest achievers were not clear on their missions until they manifested.

Duality : knowing yet not knowing

On the other hand do you feel absolutely sure that you are on your way to something amazing and out of the scope of your current reality? Are you sure that no matter what decision you do make, it all becomes a part of the tapestry of your amazing future and cannot go wrong?

Transformational Author and Speaker Lisa Nichols calls it a state of duality, and as a gemini I must say I am quite partial to that term. She describes the feeling as being absolutely brilliant and knowing nothing at the same time. I feel her on that one, because truth be told, most of the times I have absolutely no clue, as my friend Gee likes to say, but I’m convinced I’m doing the right thing at the same time.

So if you feel like, man, I just don’t know if all this is right, but I’m convinced it will all add up, then yes you are on the right track. Keep going.

Keep going even if confused

Loneliness

Yeah,ok this one might seem like a stretch but hear me out even if you find yourself rolling your eyes, okay?

I used to be desperately afraid of being alone, feeling lonely. I came from a large family and used to feel as if I would whither and die if I was ever alone for long periods. But here’s the real deal, that is an irrational and unfounded fear–as if they all aren’t. However that was my secret fear, which kept me coupled since I was old enough to have a serious crush. Before this year, I had never spent a significant amount of time solo. And if I did spend even a few days or weeks alone, I would get seriously depressed and start a pity party then latch on to the first available and passably good looking guy. Yes, I know, it’s sad. But that’s how it was, and even with friendships. This last year however, I chose solitude most of the time. I chose not to date, go out as much(well the state of my finances chose this one)and I chose not to listen to the anti-introverts who thought there was something wrong if you didn’t seek validation from social events.

Alone time is a blessing

So since I have come out as an introvert that just passes for an extrovert, I feel more comfortable blowing people off and enjoying my own company. In that company I have learned a great deal about my personality and character, some things good, some ehhhm not so much. But it has all contributed to my growth.

I also avoided a few losers posing as good men and liars trying to mindfuck me into thinking I was psyho for having a brain. So, all in all I won on all accounts just by embracing aloneness.

Another really great feature of going it alone is you don’t hanker for support from others as you build your dream. Because if you’ve ever listened to the journeys of the 5 percenters, they had to fly solo for majority of the building period. So, get comfy in your own company, cause honey, it might be a while before you’re surrounded by adoring fans and such.

It takes a while to develop fans

Abnormalcy

Have you ever been called weird? Unusual? Strange or eccentric per chance? Well here’s where you get to embrace all your idiosyncrasies. Like the smell of floor polish, so you get down and sniff the floor? Do you, ain’t nothing wrong with being a little abnormal. Sure people will point and stare at times but if you are the same as every egg shell Jane then you cannot make waves. Think I’m jesting, just think Howard Stern, need I say more?

Embrace your weird

Remember I said I learned some things about myself while basking in my own company? Well, that was one of the goodies. I go against the grain. I always have and it was only when I tried to fit in(think black Stepford wife) that I noticed how uncomfortable it all made me. Homeschooling before it was a thing-yeah I did that. Natural hair empress embracing my blackness-yep that too. Cooking from scratch and planting a garden so my family could eat well- right up my alley and don’t get me started on all my entrepreneurial endeavours. You see all these things seem normal now, but I can remember how much flack I got for a number of years about these decisions. Now, when I see people jumping on the trains I have ridden for years I smile as I welcome them and then wonder what their next destination will be..IJS.

So all in all it’s okay to be and do you. Whether you are too school for cool or just into shit that’d make our hairs curl, go on then with your weird self. Who’s to tell you it’s wrong? And it just might be your launching pad to greatness.

Have you recently been through a rough patch? How did you deal? Let’s start a conversation, join me on Twitter @stayathomewow or on Facebook.

Remember there are many lessons to be learned in the valleys of life if we know just where to look.

With love and kisses,

N

Guidance, Gifts and Goddess Energy

Hello Loves,

I have been remiss in my blog posts and have a lot to share about body revelations, no toothpaste experiment, how product testing went horribly wrong and what it feels like to finally manifest something I would not even allow myself to admit to wanting. But let me focus and do what sanity permits and fill you in one step at a time.

A year after moving from our home, we have relocated from the dungeon to an above ground spot-yeah! And as the preverbal light has been shed, I am once again digging deep to fine tune my lifestyle and the choices I am making. And I am bumped into a few things about life I thought I’d share with you.

The gift of sharing

First thing is, one has to stay connected to the source of enlightenment at all times to maintain peace. I didn’t realize this before- I know duh! But I realize that whenever my life gets hectic and unstable I tend to lose my inner peace and return to the spastic stress bucket I used to be.

 

Needing guidance

 

In those times I exercise less, though I need it more, eat way more junk, meditate sporadically and spend a lot of time mulling over( read worrying about) situations instead of seeking guidance from my inner sage.

At the time of writing this, I may have meditated once in the last week and I can feel the effects, which leads me to my second revelation: meditation cures headaches.

They say the more things change the more they stay the same. And these last few months proved that to be true. I was changing location, my lifestyle was changing, but I was nervous, busy,unproductive and over all just cranky. Once I start feeling that way, I withdraw from social events and stubbornly try to force myself to be better until eventually I wear myself out. This is usually when I end up with migraines and muscle spasms and then if it gets really bad, laid up in bed begging the Divine for guidance.

stress headaches

Since I took a few days off for vacation and relaxation I bypassed the spasms, but not the migraines and I had to really give in to the lull of the ocean and talk to my creator about my life and how I was handling day to day changes.

Lull of the ocean guides me

Have you ever had a moment of clarity, crystal clear, something like a “You Are Here” kind of road map?

If you haven’t let me try to explain what that feels like. I was in Jamaica, after over 5 years of not visiting. I was lying on the beach thinking about the changes in my budget and lack there of in my income. I was thinking about the 5 years I had given myself to be financially secure at the start of this particular journey. I was worried that a year was almost over and I had barely come close to hitting any of my goals.

frustration

I was in the most beautiful environment, yet unaware of the ocean, the sun, the laughter, I was lost in my head worrying about failing. The throbbing in my temples brought me out of my reverie and then as a reward for looking up, I was given a gift. I had been staring unseeing at the sea, and the moment I got out of my head, I had a flash of myself, clearly walking around in circles at the beginning of a path. It was so real I had to look around to see if anyone was staring at the scene playing out in the ocean. As I turned back, the lingering thought in my mind was, keep moving, you don’t have to know exactly what to expect. Though it was the voice of God, you hear in the movies, I felt weightless, as if I could float out and over the ocean. The feeling was so euphoric, I had to hide my tears from the friend I was lying next to. The thing is, I had not even been aware that I was so burdened.

Feeling light

 

When I went back to my hotel room, practically levitating the whole way, I had the most amazing surge of creativity and wrote close to an entire chapter of my book, without pause. My friend was amazed at how light my spirit had become that he remarked he had never seen me so elated.

I learned that day that once I am not the confident goddess version of myself,  I usually just end up giving in to my introverted twin, hiding behind my insecurities and just freaking bombing on everything. In the past I tended to lean heavily on my masculine energy, trying to ram everything into place. And creativity usually dries up because I become unimaginative and driven and my basic instincts though sharp are usually suspicious of everything and everyone.

Learn more about tapping into Goddess Energy:   Tapping Into Great Goddess Energy Within

And to think I lived that way for most of my life!

So how do you know you are living in balance with both your masculine and feminine energy? Here are some things to look out for: Does the thought of wearing pink, a flower in your hair, frilly things make you feel nauseated? Are you so focused on the bottom line that you cannot see the beauty in daily life? Then you may be leaning on your masculine energy.

Masculine energy

Are you emotional, sometimes irrational and indecisive? It may mean you are leaning on your feminine energy too much.

Once you have found balance you will still love the sight of babies and cute little kitten but it will not automatically trigger your tear ducts into action.

You will still like that particular guy, but your inner source will inform you if he is a snake or a gentleman and you will be able to trust it knowing it never steers you wrong.

And finally, you will have a strong sense of self, mixed with a healthy dose of uncertainty, which will only heighten your anticipation of the future, because once again life will become a great adventure in which you will be guided, gifted and clearly balanced.

Balance comes with guidance

Namaste my loves,

N

 

 

 

 

A Not So Beautiful Mommy

Home should always be a no fear zone

Hey Foxy Mommas,

This is going to be a bit of a confession and unloading kind of blog. As I write this my eyes are puffy from crying and my heart is heavy with guilt because of the way I behaved toward my youngest child at bedtime, over 5 hours ago.

 

The backstory…

You will remember that I separated from the children’s father, Mr Macho, a year and some many moons ago, and at that time, my youngest was only going on his second birthday. As such, I found it hard to discipline and say no to him and out of overcompensation, virtually trained him to become a whiny little brat. Now that he is almost four, and has perfected the art of brat-ery, I often find myself stressed and despondent about this behaviour, but usually ignoring the feelings so as not to deal with the struggles of change.  I know, I know:(

So tonight or I should really say last night as bedtime approached, I started to get tense as I anticipated the struggle and 90 minutes of bribery and general cajoling it would take to get him settled. I just wasn’t in the mood. I was in a miserable PMS attitude, overwhelmed by a bad day and anxious about work I wanted to finish uninterrupted just once. Of course, like all rational, saintly and composed mothers I exploded like boiling hot lava.

 


Moms have meltdowns tooAs soon as the lights went out and he started whining I started yelling, he started crying, I yelled some more and by the time I go
t to time out, half an hour had passed and logic and reasoning had flown the coop leaving room only for my caribbean upbringing that said blaze some licks on his behind ( which basically means give him a spanking.) And I would have too, had I not for some strange reason, looked at his sad, tired little face sitting on the time out chair, shaking from fear of what he saw in me.

In that moment I saw myself reflected in my sweet little son’s eyes a fear I knew all too well. I had worn that expression countless times as a child.I was spanked and aside from some self esteem and anger issues, I thought I had been ok, until I saw myself as the abuser in his eyes and it broke me. I sent him to bed, to which he acquiesced and I went into the shower and cried until the hot water ran out. I cried in my bedroom, using rain sounds from Youtube to drown out my shame and then I cried some more until I was completely drained of tears.

I had always thought myself a great, fun and self controlled mom who would never hurt her babies, but what I saw in my poor boy’s eyes tonight told me otherwise. I tried going to bed, but I just could not forgive myself for causing such sadness and fear for someone I loved so much. It was not his fault I had chosen to side step my duties as a parent. It was not his responsibility to act right when I was having a bad day. I could not sleep knowing in my children’s eyes I was the big bad boogie man.

Angry moms represent danger to their kids

 

Why share this? 

Well, you guys know me, I write because I can’t afford therapy yet and I figure if I can share this dark side of me with complete strangers, then I can one day look myself in the mirror, accept that it exists and allow forgiveness to take place.

I am also going to ensure that my children and especially my youngest knows that home is a no fear zone. And yes, I am also going to apologize and explain that my behaviour was bad and that I should have handled the situation differently. It is what I would expect my children to do if they had misbehaved and so it is the right thing for me to do.

Home should always be a no fear zone

And as for the whining and allowed brattiness, I think it’s way past time I implement strategies to encourage better behaviour, instead of pretending it is not a big deal. Because clearly it is.

The Cool Down…

You see I pride myself on being there for my children, giving them my full attention for the most part and lovingly allowing them to grow in freedom and happiness. I have spent the last 18 months or so shielding them from sadness and pain and things of the more devastating nature. However I believe that this incident is showing me that I have taken on too much,  and that indeed I should be more focused on teaching them to deal with emotions, as I learn to better deal with my own. I guess in a way, that’s the beauty of parenting, it’s that you learn with your children, if you are not too prideful to admit your wrongs.

So I believe it’s time to spend some quality time restoring trust and security. And helping my littles understand that no matter what I’ve got their backs and they never have to feel anything but loved at home. For my part, they’ll be some research for better coping strategies for the future hard days, because they will come, but this mommy does not wish to have a repeat melt down and become a scary Mary. Thanks for the therapy loves.

Kids need time and attention to be secure

 

In love and humility,

N

Homemade Natural Beauty Products Pt 2: The Skinny on Skin

homemade skin care products

Hello my darlings,

I will begin with an apology for this post’s tardiness. It was ambitious of me to promise weekly updates for two reasons which I think are important to mention. Once you decide to go organic, it takes time and money to find the substitutions. As of today I am not even close to having gone 70% organic and this is quite frustrating. And secondly I needed more time to test out the Weleda products I bought to see how they were working.

Organic panic

Anyway, I will include some of my recipes for homemade skin care and simply encourage you guys to trade in the modified products for unprocessed where you can. I am also going to include my thoughts on the Weleda Skincare products I have been using this month. This is going to be a long one, so grab a cup of joe and a note pad and get comfy.

The Biggest Organ

Despite what guys say, human skin is the biggest organ and it needs a lot of attention. Many underlying health issues can be detected through skin analysis and disorders.

Did you know that a face rash could be an indication of the chronic inflammatory disease lupus? Or that dark, velvety looking patches often indicate diabetes?  Not only is it important for us to pay attention to the texture and colouring of our skin, it is also important to pay attention to the skin’s moisture levels as well, extremely dry skin could be an indication of over all dehydration, eczema and various other irritating skin conditions.

This post will not be covering chronic skin conditions, but if you fear you may be suffering from any of the conditions mentioned above, see your dermatologist immediately and never use the internet to self diagnose.

Dermatologists and skin

So, let’s talk skin care issues and homemade remedies.

Since there are so many conditions our skins suffer, there is no way for me to cover all of them, so let’s just go over the most common ailments and the homemade remedies if there are any.

Dryness 

Dry skin remedies

If you live in an area that gets really cold weather, or you  take long hot showers, use harsh soaps and hard water or spend time in chlorinated water, chances are you will at some point experience dry skin symptoms.

Aside from cutting back on your hot showers and chlorinated swims, what else can you do to ensure you don’t look like a breaded meat cutlet?

Well, moisturizing is always good. Lotions and olive oil or even oils with a thicker consistency really help the skin to maintain natural moisture and remain soft and supple. Practice adding moisturizer when you get out of the shower before drying as that will force more water into the pores and the oil will trap it there.

Quick Tip: Once you get out of the shower lather yourself with olive oil and then top it off with your favourite lotion or add Argan, birch or rose oil to your lotion.

Natural oils in your diet and body will help to keep your skin soft and smooth, so try to use cooler water( I know it’s hard) and avoid harsh soaps that strip the sebum and leaves your skin feeling tight and dried out. Hyaluronic acid is great for hydrating the body, helps with healing and tissue regeneration and can hold a significant amount of water in the skin, so look for lotions and moisturizers with this gentle molecule to keep your skin youthful

Foods that help keep skin moisturized

Since the production of  Hyaluronic acid reduces  over time, it is smart to eat foods that increase the production of this molecule as we get older. Organic soy products have been shown to increase this chemical in animals. So rustle up some tofu and enjoy a glass of soy milk.

Eat soy products for firmer skin

Soy is also great to reduce age spots, discoloration, solar lentigines (sun spots) and hyper pigmentation. Mix fresh, unpasteurized soy milk with coffeeBerry( the outer casing of the coffee bean) to depigment and moisturize skin.

♦DIY Face masks for dry skin-my favourite is honey, aloe vera and yogurt. ♦

Sagging & wrinkles (loss of elasticity)

Skin sagging and callogen

Much like moisture, our skin losses elasticity as we grow older. Collagen production decreases and as this structural protein diminishes, skin becomes deflated, saggy and wrinkled. Studies also show that the harsh UV rays of the sun cause an increase in fine lines and wrinkles and even some discolouration, so sunscreen is a must in your skin’s line of defence.

Quick Tip: Add sunscreen to your moisturizer or buy a product that already includes sun protection. Remember lips need protecting too 🙂

Foods that help keep skin look firmer

To reduce wrinkles and improve the skin’s appearance, try adding foods containing ascorbic and alpha hydroxy acids to your meals. Fruits and vegetables such as citrus, peppers and cantelopes contain  antioxidant properties that help to boost immune system and reduce the signs of aging. The use of citrus and foods high in alpha hydroxy acid on the skin will help with firming a little but it’s better to ingest. Also dry skin looks older and shows more signs of aging so staying hydrated and moisturized are both of paramount importance. Check out this list of homemade skin firming techniques.

water for firm skin

How much water should you be drinking? Is it 8 cups, 10 cups or does it depend? The best answer is it depends on your weight and level of activity. To get a close to accurate estimate of how much you need use this  hydration calculator.

♦DIY: Mix honey and pineapple juice for a nice skin firming treatment or mash bananas and leave to sit on skin for 20-30 minutes. Wash and pat dry. ♦

Cellulite

remedies for cellulite

Fat deposits in the subcutaneous (hypo dermal) layer of the skin often causes a dimpled effect known as cellulite. Or in simpler terms it’s a layer of padding under the skin that makes it look uneven and somewhat like an orange peel. Cellulite can be caused by genetics, diet,lifestyle choices and hormones. While there are many mechanical and chemical approaches to removing cellulite they have been proven only to reduce the appearance of cellulite but not completely smooth the skin.

Quick Tip: Add some rosemary, cypress or lavender oil into your post bath oil mix and massage it into your skin after you shower. Make sure to massage your lymph glands to remove the toxic build up.

Though exercise and a healthy diet are the main means of reducing the appearance of cellulite, there are some oils that do help to improve circulation and detoxify the body, thus reducing the fatty deposits under the skin.

Running is also amazing at reducing cellulite but if you can’t or don’t enjoy running then brisk walking does an okay job. I have mentioned Leslie Sansone’s Walk Away The Pounds in other posts, as it is what I use during the long winter months when I have no treadmill or gym membership. It works!

Foods that help reduce cellulite

Alkaline rich foods and anything that helps detoxify the body such as lemons, kale, sunflower seeds that are high in Vitamin B 6, a great fat fighter, along with metabolism boosting chillies and cayenne are great additions to any diet. Anything that removes toxins and fat build up will help to remove cellulite from your body when paired with healthy lifestyle choices.

Cellulite busting chilis

♦DIY: A mixture of warm water lemon juice, honey and cayenne pepper each morning will detox your body, decrease bloat and significantly improve your energy levels  ♦

Never under any circumstance put red hot chilli peppers on your body-unless  of course they are from the band and even then proceed with caution 😉 These little suckers get really hot and can be painful if misused. Instead add them to your meals in the amounts you can handle and drink alkaline water and added fibre to help your body clean itself.

Acne-blackheads or white heads

organic acne removal

Acne and black heads can be such an icky topic and image( Do not search that on Youtube, it’s grosssss!!!)  The cause of acne is an over production of sebum (fat), mixed with dead skin cells and dirt that causes a blockage in hair follicles. Simple acne is divided into two groups blackheads( open comodones) and whiteheads( closed comodones). Blackheads or open comodones have a larger opening and are usually dark in colour, while whiteheads tend to be beneath the surface with a smaller opening and no oxidation causing the sebum and skin cell deposits to maintain a lighter colour.

Quick Tip: adding a once weekly skin scrub to your skin care regimen and cleansing daily will significantly reduce the chances of having a breakout.

About 80% of acne is genetic and contrary to popular belief, scientist have not found any connection between eating greasy foods  and acne. Also while cleansing and maintaining good personal hygiene helps in lessening future break outs and scarring, it is not to be assumed that people with acne are unhygenic.

What to know about acne

  • Do not pick, pop or squeeze . I know how tempting this is and have had to slap my hand away a few times.  Messing with the little buggers only spreads the bacteria and causes more to appear.
  • If you are prone to acne, avoid oil based skin products as they will clog your pores and cause a break out. Use water based products instead. Check out Acure Organics oil control products.
  • Apply sunscreen to protect your sensitive skin
  • Wash your sheets, pillow cases, makeup sponges and brushes  often and change your makeup every year to avoid using expired products.
  • Don’t assume acne will just go away, see your dermatologist to get treated.
♦DIY: Cleanse, tone and moisturize daily and add in a scrub once per week to cleanse your pores and remove dead skin cells ♦

Here is a wonderful list of homemade blackhead remedies-the nutmeg and milk is my absolute favourite.

As usual, these are not all the problems that people face with their skin, but these are some of the most popular. if you have any request of skin disorders or treatments that I haven’t covered that you’d like to see, leave a comment below or email me at nada@stayathomewow.com.

Practice these simple at home tips to always put your best face forward and to have young, radiant skin in any climate.

Homemade skin care

 

Weleda Organics  Mini Review

Weleda one step cleanser and toner

Item Bought: Weleda One step Cleanser & Toner

Measurement: 3.4 fl oz(100ml)

Suitable for: Normal to combination skins

Ingredients-This contains witch hazel, natural olive oil soap and other essential oils.

Price: About $25 Cda

Pros: Though I am not usually a fan of combination products, I do appreciate the convenience of skipping a step. I also enjoy the idea of using paraben free, organic products and I like the milky consistency.

Cons: As with most natural, perfume free products the smell is a tad strong. It is also pricey and I tend to feel like my skin is too dry after I wash  so I feel the need to add toner before moisturizing.

My rating: 3/5- so far so good.

 

 

Item Bought: Weleda Hydrating Day Cream -Iris

Measurement: 1.0 fl oz(30 ml)

Suitable for: Dry to combination skinweleda day cream iris

Ingredients-Iris root extract,organic shea and cocoa seed butter, jojoba seed oil and witch hazel extract

Price: About $20 Cda

Pros: The smell of this cream is divine. It is not very greasy, nor does it leave a film.

Cons: The price of this one ounce cream is painful and it also feels as if it is a little too light for my dry to combination skin. I’ve had to reapply so my skin didn’t feel dry.

My rating: 2/5-this did not seem to work for my skin but the smell makes me want to keep using it.

 

Item Bought: Body Oil Starter Kit

Measurement: 6 X 1.0 fl oz(30 ml each)Weleda organic body oil kit

Suitable for: Anyone without specific oil allergies.

Ingredients-this kit contains:

  1. Lavender Relaxing Body Oil
  2. Pomegranate Regenerating Body Oil-smells like stale oranges
  3. Wild Rose Body Oil-smells like a rose garden
  4. Birch Cellulite Oil-smells like lemons
  5. Sea Buckthorn Body Oil-smells like oranges
  6. Arnica Massage Oil-smells like a light eucalyptus

Price: About $20 Cda

Pros: Variety is the spice of life and being able to test out a number of different oils with different effects on the skin is great. I especially love the wild rose and lavender and I use the Birch cellulite oil daily.

Cons: Try too many at a time and end up with an allergic reaction without being sure which it came from. The amounts are too small to measure any major change which would require repeated use over time.

My rating: 4/5-The price was great for what I got and I love having different types to mix with my lotion  and massage into my skin.

 

So like I mentioned previously, this was going to be a doozy  with lots of information. I hope you enjoyed the mini review of  the Weleda products and you try the homemade remedies I recommend. Don’t forget to share your experience and subscribe for updates to this blog.

With love,

N

 Homemade Natural Beauty Products: PT1-Mane Concerns

Edges and balding can be repaired

Hello Foxy Mommas,

It’s March, that means soon it will warm up and no more protective styles for your lovely hair. Yes, I know this was indeed the coldest winter ever – girl, Sister Souljah had no idea. And I know there have been some problems concerning your crown. So let’s fix them, so you can  let your majestic mane free flow in the warm spring wind.

 

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I plan this to be a 4 part series released weekly addressing the various problems you may face with your hair and skin and how they can be solved using items from your kitchen. And of course this is not a complete abolition of spa visits, heaven forbid! I am a total spa advocate because nothing feels more luxurious than having someone rub essential oils into your skin…ahhh but I digress. It is instead a way to help you save money and show you that whatever is good for the inside is also good for the outside.

First however, let me explain the difference between the words Natural and Organic as they appear on  the labels on our food and how the differences could affect your hair.

Natural vs Organic

I felt compelled to include this as I recently watched a documentary called “Seeds of Death” On Youtube and I have been thinking about label deception and food poisoning since. The basic premise is when not eating organic foods from farmers markets and such, we are basically being fed Genetically Modified Organisms in our food. Ever heard the term GMO or GE? Well, most of our food is produced in a way that it is harmful in the long term to our bodies. By splicing genes together that are not naturally paired, Monsato and other labs have been able to create some very rare species of food and animal breeds, but they have also managed to create a related rise in cancers, brain tumours and many other lifestyle based illnesses. Since 1996 when this concept became popular, there has been very little testing ,except through our daily experiences-we are therefore the biggest science experiment ever. Do yourself a favour and watch this documentary and apprise yourself of this information.

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Natural: 

The term “Natural” or “All Natural” has been slapped onto many a food product label, but it is important to note that The Food & Drug Administration has no standard by which to measure this.

Here’s Wikipedia’s take on the term Natural: ““Natural foods” are often assumed to be foods that are minimally processed or do not contain any food additives, or do not contain particular additives such as hormones, antibiotics, sweeteners, food colors, or flavorings that were not originally in the food.” Of course if you know anything about the processes our food go through, you would realize that there is very little Natural food available to the average consumer.

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Organic: 

This term is a bit more regulated and can be explained as food that is grown without the use of synthetic pesticides, fertilizers or additives. There are some limited approved organic pesticides allowed and the practices are supposed to provide healthier, more nutrient rich food.

Here is a list of GMO foods to replace with organic right away :http://www.naturalnews.com/035734_GMOs_foods_dangers.html

How does this affect our hair?

For those of us trying to do the best for our hair, the modified products contained in our shampoo and conditioners will have a direct impact on our scalp and hair follicles. Genetically engineered products have not been tested thoroughly enough for the long term effects but the few tests that have been done have shown some very radical abnormalities that are becoming prevalent in our day to day lives. So In order to maintain long, thick, beautiful and lutrous hair, we need to ensure the products we use are organic and free radical free.

Addressing the natural hair movement

I have been natural for the last 15 years of my life, minus one miserable and hair wreaking year in 2005 when I got tired of my locks and cut them. Biggest mistake ever! I hated the hair dressers and perms and even worse those weaves that turn a full eyed black chick into a squinty eyed blasian-“black+ asian” are not cool. I’ll keep my lovely locks thank you.

My locks

Needless to say I am very happy that so many  women are embracing their natural tresses and making such a major movement of wearing the hair that grows out of their heads. However, as with any other trend, there comes the product bombardment and varying schools of thought about what works or doesn’t. I have silently watched numerous natural hair social media groups shamelessly promote all kinds of blatant crap about natural hair care to newbie naturalistas and it saddens me.

Rules I have  lived by in the last 15 years: 

  • Moisturize-I learned this from a hair technician, when my hair kept breaking off at the ends.
  • Lessen friction: I use a satin based scarf to tie my hair at night to protect it
  • Eliminate anything on the dirty dozen list
  • Add oil after moisturizing to seal in the liquid.

Despite all the care you take of your hair, there are some problems that will arise over time that seem to be plaguing many black women, myself included, who have chemically processed their hair in the past. Many women lessen these issues by doing the big chop and starting from scratch, that way the new”virgin” hair has a chance to grow out healthy and strong. Yet even while you are growing out our TWAs and our curly girl curls*, there are still some common problems you run into that make you wanna pull your hair out or more like glue some in.

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Hair loss: Alopecia

Over six million women world wide are experiencing hair loss. And the loss can be attributed to numerous things. Some variations are traction alopecia-caused by tight weaves, braids or wigs, telogen effluvium, which refers to severe trauma, such as childbirth or stress and androgenic alopecia( also called female pattern baldness) in which women experience bald spot over various areas of the scalp due to the male hormone androgen found in birth control pills and various hormone therapies. Read more here:http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/hair-loss/hair-loss-types

 

 

Edges and balding can be repaired

No matter the cause of hair loss, the result is always the same, girl that mess makes you feel all kinds of embarrassed. I remember when I first noticed I was experiencing hair loss. It was very strange, as my hair was always too thick. I can recall complaining year after year that I was being swallowed by my hair. Then after my last pregnancy, my scalp became visible in places. I told myself it was just due to the recent experience of child birth, but as the years went by, my hair started thinning drastically, probably due to the stress of separating from Mr Macho. Girlfriends, I was starting to see through my hair. Oh lawd! Somebody call 9-1-1, cause this shit is not sexy!

Treatment: Black castor oil + lavender

After I calmed down and stopped freaking, I did some research about regrowing lost hair. It turns out it can be done. Whew, thank you Divine! Next I started looking into natural remedies on Youtube and that’s when I learned about Jamaican Black Castor Oil (JBCO) and lavender.

Jamaican black castor oil is made from the organic, sulphate free castor bean ” Ricinus Communis.” The Jamaican Black version is said to be better for hair growth, itchiness, dandruff and a variety of other scalp ailments. The roasting of the entire bean creates a certain ash residue that gives the JBCO it’s dark brown colour and the burnt smell. This oil is said to be great not only for scalp but also for skin, eyelashes, eyebrows and nails. I ordered a bottle from Amazon.ca for about $21.00 Canadian for 8 oz. I have been using it for about 3 weeks now, so I will not do an official review as yet, but I will say, the texture of my hair is much improved and my hair is no longer dry and I can see some coverage in areas that were sparse. So I am loving it.

 Lavender Jamaican Black Castor Oil 118ml/4oz ( Buy here)

Castor oil pic

Lavender oil is an essential oil that stimulates the scalp and helps to increase blood flow that helps the hair to grow. By massaging lavender oil into your scalp you will see an improvement in the amount of hair and how relaxed the scalp feels. Lavender is also great to help promote restfulness, so put a little on your pillow to help you catch some beauty rest as well.

Another product that I have not tried but have heard rave reviews about is the organic root stimulator and rosemary oil combination.

Here’s a video that gave me life about balding and edge regrowth:

Rosemary, like lavender oil, increases blood flow and helps to soothe and improve scalp conditions. The main tip with Rosemary oil however is to remember never to use it directly on your skin, always mix it with a carrier oil instead. Here’s an article on preparing rosemary oil for your hair:http://www.healthyandnaturalworld.com/hair-loss-treatment-using-essential-oils/

I’d be remiss if I did not mention the other natural root stimulants I’ve seen advertised such as ginger, onions and garlic. And while the idea of smelling like a walking stir fry might give you pause, it is great to know that these basic and accessible kitchen items can help with a problem faced by many women. I certainly would give it a shot if I was desperate enough 😉

Dryness

This is the most common complaint curl-friends share. From  TWA all the way up to shoulder length locks, women are suffering with dry hair syndrome.  When I  suffered with this issue,I was using many of the shampoos designed for natural hair, but they still stripped my hair and left it feeling like a bird’s nest from a cheap Chinese menu. Then I started doing the LOC method last year, using aloe juice diluted with water to spritz daily and Shea butter to seal in the moisture, and still my hair didn’t feel quite right.

Treatment: Deep conditioner, hot oil  and better washing products.

After months of frustration cowashing, pre-pooing and deep conditioning, I finally gave up on the shampoo I had seen the most results with-Marc Anthony Oil of Morocco Argan Oil shampoo, conditioner and oil of Morocco Argan Oil Treatment. I used to buy this set at Costco and use it for months. Now, I just use Dove or Tresemme, and a homemade deep conditioner**. But I do have my eyes on the Shea Moisture line because so many people swear by it.

I also added the Jamaican Black Castor Oil before washing my hair to do a hot oil treatment and after as a sealant and scalp massager.

To do a hot oil treatment-simply pour the oil in an applicator bottle, get some hot water in a bowl and heat the oil through the bottle. Once that is done section your hair into manageable parts and add oil, really drench the hair with it. Next cover with a plastic cap and a towel(or any form of indirect heat you wish to use) and leave it for 30 -60 minutes before washing the oil out and continuing with your scheduled wash.

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Tangled, frizzy & split ends:

When hair cuticle gets damaged, it splits and opens and then gets caught on other damaged cuticles, this causes knots or tangles. Dry brittle hair gets damaged and broken easily and will therefore show up in the form of split ends, frizz or tangles. Any form of processing can damage hair cuticle, things like chemicals, heat, and processes that strip hair of moisture and protection. And curly hair is especially prone to dryness and damage.

To detangle hair, use the oil, water( or aloe vera juice ) and conditioner(preferably one with a lot of slip) method shown here and of course you will need a detangling comb. By combining all three and moisturizing the hair then detangling, you are less likely to rip or break the hair thus further damaging it. Here’s a DIY video to help you with your detangling efforts.

 

While these are not all the struggles women face with natural hair and maintaining lush, moisturized soft hair that grows abundantly, these are some of the more popular problems faced. Applying a little kitchen love will go a long way to helping your hair grow into the royal crown that you envision. Remember be gentle with your hair, scalps get stressed and need love too. Focus radiant, loving energy to your scalp while you treat it each day and in a few months you will see a change, once you stick with whatever regimen you choose.

 

Additional information: 

 

*Curly girl is a hair maintenance method that focuses on eliminating sodium Laurel and all it’s variations in shampoos and silicone in conditioners. Sodium laurel causes hair shaft damage and dryness, while silicone blocks moisture from being absorbed by the hair thus causing dryness and tangles. The concept is to allow your hair to have its natural curl and grow out no matter how tightly or loosely coiled your hair is. More info here:http://www.naturallycurly.com/curlreading/no-poo/the-curly-girl-method-for-coily-hair/

 

** Homemade deep conditioner recipe: -1/4 cup plain greek yogurt, 1/4 cup Shea butter, 2 tbsps honey, 2 tbsps aloe vera juice, 2 tbsps apple cider vinegar, 2 tbsps extra virgin olive oil. Blend together and apply generously. Leave in hair, covered for 30-45 minutes, then wash and style.

With love,

N.

 

 

Single and Smiling: 5 Tips to being happy while flying solo.

Hello foxy mommas,

I trust your valentine was ecstatic. Mine was calm, quiet and filled with my favourite “F” words; fun, family and food. You can come up out of the gutter now dirty minded folks, there was none of that  first F-word that popped into your head 🙂 And I’m okay with that.

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If you’ve been reading my blogs for a while, you will recall last year’s valentine’s day blog was called My Whiney Valentine Countdown, in which I lamented my sorrow of not having a love to celebrate one of my favourite days with and blah, blah, blah. Well this year, though I still found myself alone, it was by choice. So I spent the day with my true loves, and I ignored the phone calls and texts of potential suitors while reflecting on what I wanted from a relationship when next I started dating. You see the problem with being a single woman over 30 is not a lack of potential lovers, it’s the lack of great men worth spending time with. And when you are in your thirties, you start to realize that time is more precious than money and that it is no longer worth the bad dates and worse conversations just to have mediocre sex.

So how does one happily stay single by choice? Here are some steps I use to keep my mind right and not get desperate and start dating the let me come over and chill or I’m too lazy to even put in any effort guy.

1. Spend time getting to know yourself.

Relationships can be all encompassing and consuming. Women often lose themselves in the whirlwind of romance and emotions and before long end up resenting their partners and selves. Being single is a gift of time to be self absorbed and not have to apologize. You no longer have to sit around waiting for the guy who doesn’t call-you’ve seen the kind of men those become. You don’t have to explain, apologize or give account for who you are because self knowledge shows you what your boundaries are and it’s easy for you to move away from anyone who refuses to respect them. Don’t be sucked into the fake ads and subliminal disapproval of those who don’t know better and act like being single is a curse. If you have the right mindset it is indeed a blessing, so savour it instead of rushing into the arms of any old Tom so you can have someone.

look in the mirror

2. Go out with like minded friends

When I was coupled, the thing I wanted to do most was have more time to spend with friends who liked the things I did. My then husband and I were opposites in every sense of the word and so he didn’t like museums, plays, books, spoken word, jazz or any of those things. He was instead a beer drinking, pool playing, TV watching and clubbing kind of guy. Once we broke up, I stopped watching TV; in fact cancelling the cable subscription was one of the first things I did when newly single.  And now I spend more time with friends shopping for beautiful things, drinking cocktails and acting silly. When your time is your own, there seems to be quite a bit of it. And if instead of spending it stalking down the “one that got away,” you focus on the one you have-you, then it will be a whole lot more enjoyable.

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3. Become who you want to attract

Ever heard the expression like attracts like? Well, it certainly rings true in the relationship arena. If you want a strong, assertive, wealthy, healthy and well rounded partner, be that. Figure out what you need to do  or learn to make yourself all those things, knowing all the while that you are preparing to meet your best self. It is natural for women who are confident, busy, accomplished and stable to be attractive to those kinds of men. So if you are a 9-5er, Work or Stay at home momma with no hobbies, interests or depth, while you are single is the perfect time to develop these traits. Think about what your past boyfriends said was wrong, not in a he’s such an asshole kind of way, but in a there is a lesson I could learn there way.

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4. Enjoy the process

Being happily single is a state of mind that can be developed. Remember we are the thoughts we think. So if you think desperate and unhappy thoughts, you will be desperate and unhappy. Affirm who you are in very strong and positive language. Create a life mission and write down your goals, financial and non-financial. Write down who you are becoming and celebrate it. Exercise in front of the mirror, it helps you to see and appreciate your body as strong and beautiful. Only you can convince yourself of your worth and beauty, so spend time building that mindset while you are not disturbed or needed or too busy.

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5. Develop your feminine wiles

Do you know how to flirt? Can you capture any man’s attention and hold him spellbound? Do you know how to dress for your body type to look sexy, without being too slutty or prudish? Do you know how to approach a man, get into his space and command his attention and interest? Well, many other women do, and say what you may about them, they are getting who and what they want. So while you are single, practice strong eye contact, learn how to say what you want and expect to get it. Figure out what looks really great on you and wear that and feel free to approach men and talk to them. Not because you want to sleep with them, but so you can practice talking to men and not being shy. And as an added bonus, you get to practice saying no, as a whole sentence and not explaining or apologizing when they ask for your number and you don’t feel like giving it out.

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Well, armed with these tools, I’m certain you can see how you will no longer have time to feel lonely or sad about being single. Instead you’ll be so busy polishing  and fine tuning your personality. Try out these tips and leave me a comment to let me know if they helped or if you have other ways you stay single, smiling and sexy.

With love,

N.

Images from EyeOpener , Tumblr, Parexcellence magazine.com