Solo Travel in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Greetings Daizies,

What helps me when solo traveling is to first figure out my purpose for the trip. I then plan my itinerary based on this theme to make sure I am getting what I want with the trip. For me and this time in my life, I needed a break. I wanted to breathe. My purpose for this trip was self care. I wanted to be adventurous and appreciate the beautiful weather by doing outdoorsy activities. I wanted to get to do something that makes me truly happy, which is traveling. I wanted to remember who I am and what makes me excited.

The timing worked out to where I had three days I could use for a vacation during this calendar year then it was the weekend with Christmas Eve and Christmas day following. That equals a full week off from work. Work is great. But there’s also life. I know I was worried about working full-time and what my life would be like going to work 5 days a week, having the weekend, and then doing the whole thing over again. It can get tiring and seem never ending. This trip was to disrupt that seemingly never ending cycle of “I can’t wait till the weekend.”

I wanted to relax and pamper myself more, take time to take a trip outside the country and get some sun. That’s how I ended up thinking of going to Mexico. Well Puerto Vallarta was really an impulsive decision. I’m actually surprised at myself cuz I’m usually never an impulsive person. Every decision is carefully carved out and planned to the tee. But that’s what I like most about this trip. I knew I wanted to go somewhere in December for a while and I had been looking at several destinations. Then on a Monday one of my friends at work had told me she went to Puerto Vallarta and had fun, and I said welp I’m just gonna go there to and literally booked the ticket the same day.

Arriving in Puerto Vallarta

I tried to pack light as usual, bringing with me a carry-on and a backpack. The weather was forecasted to be in the mid-80s, so I brought a variety of clothes. Something to look cute in, active but cute clothes, a dress in case I go out (probably won’t), and a cute swimsuit I bought from Amazon. It was a decent flight just about 7 hours total. Getting through immigration was the biggest hassle. I have never waited in line so long in my life. After 2 HOURS I finally made it out. I booked an Airbnb for my 5 night stay. I found this to be more cost efficient for a single person. The resorts were like $150 a night and I was definitely trying to spend $200 for my entire trip lol. I ended up doing that with an Airbnb. It’s a decent place, with a traditional feel and Mexican architecture style inside. The downside is when the reviews said it was on a hill they REALLY meant it. I thought it was like a Seattle hill or something that’s a little work out. But no, it’s definitely so steep I feel like a mountain goat walking upwards for a straight 7 minutes. Never again will I get an apartment on a hill lol.

I got to the place in the evening with some time to take a walk around the Malecon and get some food. It was a relaxing stroll and I dipped my feet in the beach water.

Day 1

I decided to hit the ground running with a day of planned activities. The night before I bought an activity package from one of the tourist booths on the Malecon strip, one of the main attractions of Puerto Vallarta. Traveling anywhere I’m always skeptical with buying things from vendors and the slightest error leads my mind to pray ” please don’t be a scam”. The man offered an all-inclusive island tour the the Yelapas Islands with kayaking, hiking, cruise, food, waterfall, and snorkeling AND a free day activity for zip-lining with breakfast for me to use on any day…all for $30. I had budgeted $30 per activity, so the “free” one included was a deal for me. I just had to hope it was legitimate.

The man was late to pick me up at 10:30am and claimed he couldn’t find my airbnb. Then didn’t arrive all together. I was annoyed with all of the talking he did and really wanted to get to the point. I walked down there and just said forget the breakfast. Overall I think the tour vendor was annoying and somewhat nosey. I hate being asked who I’m with, where I’m staying, and my age. Just mind your business tbh. I ended up doing the zip-lining activity around 1pm.

I’ve done ziplining before and it’s something I thought was cool enough to do again. My glutes were so sore from climbing up the mountain to the next lines. It was so beautiful to zoom through the trees and see all of the greenness. There was also a tequila tasting part of the day. They started out with some strong shots and I was like “okay that’s enough for me” but then the next ones were smoothie-like fruit flavors that I really enjoyed.

By the time I got back to the neighborhood called Old Town, it was dark outside and I planned to get some food and leave. I ate a burrito and got some ice cream. I didn’t appreciate having carrots and zuchini in my burrito but I was relieved of my hunger.

For shopping, my strategy is to figure out what items I am interested in buying and remember the prices being quoted to me from various locations. By the middle of my trip, I’ll know what the average price for a purse is and where to get it.

I love that I don’t have to stay out late or do anything to please anyone when I’m traveling alone. I can come in the house at 8:30pm and not feel like I’m being boring or something.

Day 2

Rise and shine

On my second full day, I woke up sore and tired from the previous climbing up the hills for zip-lining. I opted to postpone the cruise activity, slept in, and planned for a relaxing beach day instead. This was such a great decision. I dressed up in a cute flowing yellow skirt and felt stylish and free.

I had good food all day long. For lunch, I ate at a restaurant called Mariscos de Guero. I normally don’t eat seafood but this Marlin burrito was so amazing. Since I had skipped breakfast for sleep, I needed a big meal to fill me up. This burrito did my hunger justice. Too bad I didn’t have a fridge handy because I would’ve saved the other half for later. No need to gamble with my stomach and eat a fish burrito that’s been out in the sun all day. A couple enjoying their retirement sat next to me. We had a pleasant conversation. They spend half the year in Puerto Vallarta and the other half in Canada. They’ve been doing this for 11 years now. The woman told me to enjoy my youth. Indeed I will.

Pretty view from lunch
Smoked Marlin burrito

I spent hours at the beach and got a massage. I inhaled what I knew was eucalyptus oil lol. They acted like essential oil aromatherapy was just out of this world. I was hip and knew what essential oil was being used lol y’all ain’t slick. It was a decent massage though. The lady I met afterwards in line was a masseuse too and gave me a hand and neck massage during our hour wait in line for Pancho’s tacos. This Mexican family was so sweet. They had a 7 year old son that was just learning English. I knew probably the same amount of Spanish as he did English, so we were helping each other out with new word and practicing. They invited me to sit with them for dinner. It was warm and fun being around them. There was this cute dog that reminded me of my cat. I noticed there’s lots of stray dogs here but I pretend not to be scared lol.

This was such a great day.

Day 3

The strangest thing happened. I woke up earlier before my “8 am alarm”. I looked at my phone and it was 7:30am so I laid in bed longer. Then it was 7:58 am and I finally got up at 8:04am. I started my routine and the next thing you know my phone said 9:37 am. I guess it froze or something. I missed the tour again lol.

It was another go with the flow day as I again postponed the Yelapas tour. Today was more of a cultural day. I visited the Naval Museum right on the Malecon strip. I love seeing museums in the new cities I visit. They teach me more of the history of the places I’m in and I get to see a cultural perspective of what events took place that make the culture what it is today.

Display at the Naval Museum

Next, I had an amazing lunch at Pipi’s and had the best food ever. I ordered 4 enchiladas, rice, and beans. I could only finish 2 enchiladas before I could barely breathe anymore since I was so full.

Enchilada meal

Down the block was an art gallery that I took a stroll through. The art was interesting contemporary Mexican art and sculptures.. It was for sale but not the type of art in my price range of as now.

Art with art

I went back to the Malecon and decided today was the day I would finally parasail. I thought the price of $40 was way too much, but I did it anyway. My heart started beating fast as I saw the person ahead of me start to land. I was nervous I wouldn’t land right. As soon as they set me up in the gear, they said to start walking, and next thing you know I was in the air. It wasn’t a gradual rise at all! I was so scared at first. When I finally calmed down, I took in the beautiful view.

Relaxed
Schoolin’ life
Feet dangling from the seat

I found a nice place to sit on the beach further down towards Old Town. I needed a nap and took one. Then I took a dip in the beach for a while, read a book for a few hours, and ate an ice cream cone. Before I knew it, it was sunset.

I got another massage at Venus Spa. I’m going to use more eucalyptus oil more when I get home. It was kind of funny how she would spray the eucalyptus on a towel whenever I got fidgety and had me inhale it. I could do that to myself.

I did most of my souvenir shopping at the Old Town market. Then I got tapas and ubered back to my apartment.

Day 4

All aboard the Beach Boy ship!

The last full day I made it to the cruise to Yelapas. The first stop was snorkeling. It’s always more of a workout swimming in the waves than you think. I find it helpful to slow down and take slow deep breaths to get used to being in the water. As I looked below the surface, I could see groups of fish swimming just below my feet. It was really beautiful seeing the animals in their natural habitats.

Getting ready to snorkel

The cruise itself was quite loud and rowdy. I would recommend it more for families than solo travelers. There were kids everywhere, it was so loud I forgot which language was being spoken. No surprise I mixed up the directions and left the boat and went to the beach instead of the actual hike I had been waiting for. The “activities” boldly advertised on the flyer were kayaking and surfing but neither were anywhere to be found. I was annoyed with this at first, but since being mad wasn’t going to get me anywhere, I did what I liked most and read a book and swam.

View from the cruise

I finished the remainder of my shopping and ended the night getting tacos and a burrito from Taco Revolucion. It was decent and filled me up from the night.

Cruise control

Day 5

I packed in the morning and realized I had bought way more things than I had expected. It was a miracle that I fit everything into a backpack and a carry-on suitcase. I had to toss some old sandals, flip flops and a t-shirt but I made it work.

I had to get one last lunch at Pipi’s, this time ordering 2 instead of 4 enchiladas. I sam in the beach before I left and took the sun rays and scenery all in.

Last stroll on the Malecon

Puerto Vallarta was such a beautiful city. It might be one of my favorite cities I’ve ever been too. At first I was nervous and had to get used to it but then I saw it as a relaxing and friendly city. I felt excitement and how fun I am. I loved exploring and talking with myself. I was content and I needed to see this. I ate good every day. I swam in the beach every day. I got back to back massages. It was a grand time and I absolutely loved this trip. I definitely got the self care tip I needed.

As always,

Advertisements

DIY Aloe Vera Skincare Mask

Greetings Daizies,

For the first time in a long time I did a DIY skincare mask. My routine for skin is pretty simple and consistent. I don’t venture too far out from my routine but aloe vera seemed like a safe place to start back up with a DIY project.

Aloe Vera Benefits

Aloe vera is known for it’s soothing properties. It’s often used for treating sunburns and cuts. Aloe vera is rich in antioxidants and antibacterial properties. It can help relieve itchiness and inflammation and well. Seeing aloe vera in hair product ingredients was also comforting for these reasons and they are just as beneficial for skin as well. 

Expected Results

I was hoping this mask would eliminate the blemishes by the next morning! I had a few small bumps on my cheekbone and forehead that I wanted to get rid of. I also wanted my skin to feel very moisturized. I thought aloe vera itself would be sticky and slimy

Mixing It All Together

  • Squeeze about a tea spoon of aloe vera juice from a fresh plant
  • Add 1 drop of honey
  • Add a few drops of sweet almond oil and/or lemongrass oil, eucalyptus oil

To apply the mixture I just dipped my finger tips on the cup and rubbed on my face in a gentle circular motion.

Actual Results

A little goes a long way with the ingredients. Since it was only my face, the small amount worked just fine and it was far from sticky. I used the mask three times with a different variation of essential oils. It was a relaxing experience with the cooling effect of the aloe vera and the calming of the essential oils. After washing the aloe vera mixture my skin felt fresh and supple.  breakout on my forehead minimized a bit, and slightly got smaller on my cheekbone. However, the mask didn’t prevent the future breakout of a few more bumps on my other cheekbone.  

Final Thoughts

Mixing the aloe vera was fun. I thought the process was quite relaxing, as most masks are. It’s not my favorite as a go-to blemish treatment but I thought it was great for self care. I still am excited to use it for my hair next. The aloe vera plant is pretty large so I’ll see what other cool uses I can get out of it this week!

As always,

Every Hair Product I Own| A Guide for Shopping for Natural Hair Products

Greetings Daizies,

Taking inventory of all of the hair products I had under the sink was something I always wanted to do when I had time. It was equivalent to something like “oh maybe I’ll maybe I’ll finally dust the window blinds” or something of that nature except more fun. In the weeks leading up to my first paycheck from my full time job, I was so excited about all of the hair products I could finally buy. I would finally have enough to spend a little bit more just trying new products and seeing what works best.

My full collection of natural hair products

After a few months, these products accumulated. I  tried a variety of different products and even brands. As 2018 wraps up, it’s also a great time to note which products I’m interested in restocking  for 2019. This post would be super long if I reviewed every single product shown so I will just provide a link for you to purchase from Amazon and a brief description of how I group my hair products.  Many products I have done reviews for such as: Shea Moisture Mask for High Porosity Hair,

I’ll put a * next to products I’ll buy again in the future.

Shampoos: Cleansers, Regular Shampoos

When looking for a shampoo I always make sure there are no sulfates, parabens, or other harmful ingredients. I shop for shampoos that have clarifying ingredients and ones that will relieve itchiness. It’s great to have a staple shampoo as well. My staple shampoo is the Trader Joe’s Tea Tree Tingle which I get directly from Trader Joe’s. All of the ingredients are natural and I love the tingle feeling on my scalp. I’ve only tried the Sacha Inchi Oil Omega 3,6,9 shampoo once and it seemed to work fine.T

Conditioners: Leave-In Conditioners, Deep Conditioners, Masques

I have probably 3 times as many conditioners as shampoos. This is because I use shampoo twice a month and deep condition every single week. I like to make sure I have a thick masque for intense moisture, one I can use for any time, and I look for conditioners that target specific issues such as itchiness/dry scalp, which is why I found the Shea Moisture African black soap conditioner so helpful. The Suave conditioner serves as a “holy grail”, a product that hasn’t failed me, so I make sure I always have this in stock. Curl smoothies and leave-ins are both interchangeable to me in the categories of stylers and conditioners. Depending on the moisture level and thickness of the products, a curl smoothie or curl defining cream can work as a leave-in conditioner.

Styling Creams: Curl Smoothies, Puddings, Moisturizers, Leave-In Conditioners

I love a great twist or braid out, so a great product with hold and moisture that defines and elongates these styles is crucial. I like to try products with essential oils and ingredients I haven’t tried before such as red palm oil, blueberry abstract, and cocoa butter. One thing I’ve learned is to read what the directions are for the product and whether it says to use on wet or dry hair. This determines just how often I’ll be able to use the product considering I don’t style my hair directly after wash day. 

Butters and Oils: Sealants, Essential Oils

Thick butters and oils are necessary for my hair to seal all of the moisture I’m putting into my hair. It’s the last step of my moisturizing routine and it’s helpful in maintaining manageable for my hair and combating dryness. 

I have my sights set on finishing most of these products before doing a new haul. It’ll probably take a while to finish them since I plan to have my hair in protective styles, with breaks in between, until the spring. Feel free to ask me any questions about the products listed and provide suggestions for new things you think I should try!

Check out my new natural hair planner Curl Calendar here.

As always,

Product Review: Shea Moisture Masque for High Porosity Hair

Greetings Daizies,

Before putting my hair into my next protective style, I spent 3 weeks with my hair loose and free. I bought Shea Moisture High Porosity Moisture Correct Masque with Mongogo and Hemp Seed oils. I had no idea what Mongogo and Hemp Seed oils were but I did know about porosity and that my hair is mostly highly porous. You can check out my blog touching on hair porosity here. The product intends to “deep condition and revive damaged, color treated hair and all hair types.” I was ready to give it a go.

I prepared my hair like I always do. This time including shampooing since my scalp needed the cleanse, and sectioning my hair into fourths. The product was very thick, like a Greek yogurt that was half frozen. I always love thicker products. I used a wide toothed detangling comb to evenly distribute the product through each and every strand. This is so important so I don’t end up leaving some parts of my hair out and they miss their blessing.  After about 45 minutes I was ready to cover with a plastic bag and a warm towel (an alternative to a deep conditioning cap) and left my hair to marinate for about 30 minutes.

I noticed that I used almost half the jar with the first use. I was very heavy handed probably because I bought this masque on sale and had a spare one still left. I’ll try to squeeze in 2 more uses though. 

Rating this product, I’ll have to think of it in both short and long term sense. Short-term as in how my hair felt right away and long-term for how well my hair held on to moisture throughout the week.  Most of the time I can tell right away if I liked a conditioner/masque by the ending results, but for the purposes of this masque being geared towards high porosity hair, a closer watch in the long run was needed. I can’t really say “Oh wow my hair was so moisturized the rest of the week I barely needed to touch it” or that I noticed some jaw dropping difference just yet. But I felt like this was a successful masque when I was rinsing it out of my hair and could feel the curls of my natural hair taking in all of the moisture. After drying my hair with a t-shirt I loved the shine and bounciness of my curls. how manageable my hair felt immediately after the masque and the following day. My hair felt full and lush. I followed with a leave-in conditioner and set my hair in large twists to stretch my hair overnight while it dried.

My hair still needs to follow LCO method throughout the week no matter what. I would love to try the product consistently for about a month to see if it truly helps with retaining moisture, but for a first time use, I find the results promising. 

As always,

DIY Avocado Masque on 4C Hair Results

Greetings Daizies,

A few weeks ago I went ahead and tried making my own avocado masque ti deep condition my hair. I hadn’t tried a new DIY mixture in a while and there happened to be a sale on avocados at my nearby grocery store. I figured it was the perfect time to try something new!

Ingredients Used

  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 5 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon of shea butter

I was in a daze of confusion in the grocery store and the look on my face must’ve been obvious when a lady helped me determine which avocados were the best to pick. What I gathered was the darkest ones were the best for use right away. She also told me that if you put your avocados next to a banana then they will become ripe whenever you want them. Has anyone tested this method? I ended up just picking some that were ready for that day

Mixing it All Together

You might already know how to peel an avocado, but since I absolutely hate them as a food, I was very surprised at how easily the skin fell off. It was like with one slice I could take the rest of the skin off. I took all of the portions off and mushed it together with a spoon. I then added in my favorite oils and shea butter and mixed together as smooth as I could before putting it in the blender. 

At first, I had a very hard time getting the blender to turn. I added more oil so that it would be smoother and the liquid would help the blades turn better. After about a minute or two I had a thick masque I was content with.

Expected Results

My hair on a typical wash day

Because the mixture was so thick and contained penetrating oils like olive oil and coconut oil, I expected the masque to thoroughly hydrate my hair. 

Actual Results

Y’all, this was actually the worst DIY masque I have ever tried. I was picking avocado flakes out of my hair for the rest of the day. My hair was so dry and my natural curl pattern was disrupted. It was like I didn’t deep condition at all.

After the avocado masque

That being said, I know this works for a lot of people, but it just was not for me. I ended up doing a co-wash afterwards so that my wash day didn’t completely go to waste. I am not sure what it was but my hair did not respond well to this mixture. But hey, that’s what experimenting is all about. Sometimes you find a keeper and sometimes it’s an L.

Have you tried a similar DIY avocado masque? What were your results? 

I hope you all have heard about my very first product Curl Calendar now. Curl Calendar is a printable natural hair planner available on Etsy to help track your natural hair progress, stay accountable to your hair regimen, and reach your hair goals. I have been so excited to finally launch one of my ideas and this is just one of the first. You can read more about it here in my introductory post.Please check it out on Etsy and like my store!

Thanks for the love and support.

As always,

Introducing Curl Calendar 2019 | Printable Planner for All of Your Natural Hair Goals

Greetings Daizies,

I’m so excited to announce the launch of my very first product, Curl Calendar. Curl Calendar is a printable planner with the emphasis of organizing and staying accountable to your hair health and goals. I love planners, organization materials, and to-do lists. Combining my knack for planning and natural hair meshed together to create Curl Calendar. This is an idea I’ve had for a long time and I said you know what, an idea will just be an idea if I don’t push forward and make things happen.  As the New Year rolls around, I’m very happy to have a planner to help others think of their natural hair care process the same way we do with other things in life.

Truly Taking Things DaibyDai

This 12 month planner was created to keep daily maintenance, styling, wash day, and moisturizing activities ingrained into the busy schedules a lot of us have. Each week of Curl Calendar has a checklist of key hair activities for thriving natural hair. Add the activities beneficial to your specific hair type and needs to your daily planner and check them off as you go. Extra lines are included to customize your routine accordingly.

Each calendar month comes with hair tips and information on beneficial way to learn more about your hair and level up your routine.

Hair Goals

With any goal it is important to check in with yourself to reflect, redirect, or readjust those goals.  At the beginning of the year, write down all of your hair goals and how you plan on reaching them. This will help to think about what types of habits and routines are needed to realistically attain the results you wish for. Every 3 months, there is an opportunity to revisit your goals stated at the beginning of the year and audit how you’ve been progressing towards them.

2pageProgressReportCC

Where to Buy

Visit my new Etsy store at DaibyDai and click the Curl Calendar listing. This is a digital download, which allows for an instant delivery straight to your finger tips. It can be printed in either color or black/white. This planner is all about YOU and YOUR hair so feel free to add it to your folders, binders, or even hole punch the sides to add to your own booklet. Head on over to DaibyDai on Etsy and give it a huge heart. Get in formation and ready to stay consistent with your hair regimen and goals.

Screen Shot 2018-11-24 at 9.28.03 PM.png

My SheaMoisture Product Haul| 6 products for $30!!!

Greetings Daizies,

Well would you look at that, October is almost over and we’re on to the best month of the year! Yes my birthday month of November woohoo.

Anyways, last Saturday I was scrolling through Snapchat stories and a friend had posted on her story that there were SheaMoisture product sales at Walgreens. I mean, half-off type of sales. Coming to find out, this was at my local Walgreens near where I live. I finished what I had to do and marched down there so fast. I basically wiped the shelf with whatever was remaining. I figured why not treat myself.

It’s funny that there was a sale like this literally just a few days after putting my hair into a protective style, but it’s not often there’s a half-off sale and buy one get one half off of the already discounted sale. I initially bought 4 products, but the extra BOGO sale prompted me to walk back into the store and grab an extra mask and curling smoothie.

Here’s what I picked up:
Shea Moisture Sacha Inchi Oil Omega 3, 6, 9 Rescue + Repair Curl Defining Smoothie 12 oz

I can’t wait to try this for styling and maybe even a wash-and-go! I tried with my boyfriend’s 4c hair and it works great for defining coils. My favorite curl defining smoothie from Shea Moisture so far has been the Red Palm Oil curl elongating smoothie. So it will be interesting to see if this smoothie can top those results.

 Shea Moisture High Porosity Moisture Correct Masque, 12 Ounce

I love that there is a product dedicated towards the hair needs of each porosity. I did a hair porosity test lest year and it revealed my hair was mostly hair porosity. My hair soaks in moisture easily but it exits the hair strands quickly. I hope this masque actually does what it says and seals the moisture in my hair .

Shea Moisture Sacha Inchi Oil Omega-3-6-9 Rescue & Repair Clarifying Shampoo for Unisex, 13 Ounce

I’m always happy to find a good clarifying shampoo. Healthy and growing hair starts with a clean scalp.

 SheaMoisture African Black Soap Dandruff Control Conditioner | 13 fl. oz.

So far I have tried the African Black Soap Clarifying shampoo and will try the others once I take my crochet style down. I was experiencing a super itchy scalp last week and so I used this conditioner alongside the shampoo that I loved from this line. Both of the products worked really well and has soothed my scalp this week. I have also been using tea tree oil mixed with Jamaican black castor oil to combat the dry scalp and itchiness as well.

I’m so happy I came up on some sales last week. I’m ready for whenever I take my hair down! Stay tuned for the full reviews of the hair masque, shampoo, and curl smoothie.

As always,

-POP (1)