How to Keep Your Hair Looking and Feeling Fresh While in Protective Styles

This is the perfect season to rock protective styles. The weather is cold in many places which signals dryness for a lot of people with natural hair. But just because your hair is tucked away in braids or twists, doesn’t mean you can slack off with taking care of your hair. It does more harm than good if you forget about your hair for weeks and then expect to see the benefits of low maintenance styles in the end. Here’s some way to get the most out of protective styling while also making sure your hair is still cared for.

Cleanse your scalp

Have you ever had a style that still looked cute but your scalp itched so bad you’d rather take it down instead? Getting a couple of scalp cleanses in the duration of the style can help it last longer and not lead to the uncomfortable itchiness that makes you want to take your hair down as fast as possible. It may seem like an impossible task to wash your hair when in styles like braids or twists, but you can still cleanse your scalp and you’ll probably be more comfortable because of it. You don’t want to deprive your scalp of a good cleanse for several weeks, which leads to build up of product and dirt. Washing your hair while in braids or twists won’t take nearly as long as when your hair is out and free. I cleanse my scalp every 2 weeks when in braids, crochet, twists or any protective style. I’ve managed to do this without getting all of my braids wet and it taking days to dry. Since the focus is on your scalp you’ll need:

  • a spray bottle
  • conditioner
  • water
  • hair bands

Wash Day method

  1. Mix 1/3 cup of shampoo into 2/3 cup of water into spray bottle
  2. Section hair into fourths
  3. Start with one section and left the ends of your hair up and spray directly onto your scalp
  4. Massage the mixture gently onto your scalp
  5. Repeat until each section is complete
  6. To rinse, fill the spray bottle with water and in the same fashion lift one section of hair up so that the water only runs onto your scalp
  7. Rinse each section

I use more water than shampoo for wash day in this case so that I am not disrupting the neatness of my hair with all of the lather that comes with shampoo. Lifting the ends of my hair up and out of the way helps for long hairstyles and to avoid the trouble of trying to go to sleep with wet braids. You can always blow dry you hair if it does get wet, but I like to avoid this all together. After shampooing, I condition in the exact same manner. I dilute the conditioner and complete the process just as with the shampoo.

Tools needed for conditioning:

  • Spray bottle
  • Conditioner
  • Water

Daily Moisturizing

The point of a protective style is to have your hair protected for an extended period of time. Your hair is mostly protected which is good, however applying a moisturizer to your scalp and to the exposed pieces of your hair will aid in healthy scalp maintenance and preventing dryness to exposed strands. After wearing twists for several weeks, there are pieces of my natural hair that I can see sticking out. My natural hair and the extensions are the same color but I can obviously tell where my hair is showing by the texture. Since this part of my hair is now exposed to the environmental elements that can cause dryness, I apply a leave-in conditioner and coconut oil to the twists I know have pieces of my hair showing. It’s easier to tuck those pieces in especially once moisturized.

Even lightly spritzing your style can add some life and longevity to your look. I fill my spray bottle with water, vitamin E oil, almond oil, and castor oil to quickly moisturize my scalp and freshen up my twists every few days. This adds extra some shine and sheen to my hair.

Redo your edges or the front of your hair bi-weekly

For braids, twists, faux locs, or other styles that are installed individually, you can revamp a style that’s getting fuzzy in the front by simply redoing the first row or two every couple of weeks. My goal was to keep my twists in for six weeks and I was able to do this while keeping them looking almost brand new by redoing the front rows. There were also a few pieces here and there that bothered me throughout my hair, so when I had time I just redid them so that I could get the most out of my hairstyle.

Don’t keep your style in too long

All good things do come to an end. While you can keep a style in and looking great for a while, you don’t want to leave the style in forever and risk your hair matting up with build up. The recommended time to wearing a protective style is around 4-8 weeks. For me I wear my styles for about 6 weeks. It’s important to give your hair a full wash and deep condition after having your hair tucked away for a while, and also give your hair some time to be free.

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Essential Oils and a Beginner’s Experience With Aromatherapy

Greetings Daizies,

When I first got my apartment I was so excited to get an oil diffuser and essentials oils and begin my experimentation with aromatherapy. I imagined walking into my home with relaxing scents and just an amazing vibe. I knew the oils would make the rooms smell good but I was more curious about if I would actually experience any other benefits with my mood or health.

How is aromatherapy health related?

Aromatherapy is a natural form of medicine described as “the art of science of utilizing naturally extracted aromatic essences from plants to balance, harmonize and promote the health of body, mind and spirit” as defined by the Natural Association for Holistic Aromatherapy. Some of the benefits of using essential oils, often topically or by diffusing, are reduced stress, relaxation, calmness, and joy.

It’s been 4 months since I got my first diffuser and set of essential oils kit and I have since added a new kit to my collection. I purchased both kits from Amazon for about $15. The first kit was from Pure Body Naturals and included lavender, eucalyptus, sweet orange, tea tree, peppermint, and lemongrass. The first diffuser I bought was from Bed Bath and Beyond but it broke just 3 months later. I bought a new one from Amazon recently but I don’t like how quick the 150ml of water runs out so I will be in search of a new one. Around the holiday season I wanted to treat myself to another kit and this time I wanted to try some oils that aren’t talked about as much. I ended up getting a relaxing essential oils set which included ylang ylang, bergamot, frankincense, lemon, cinnamon, and lavender again. All together I have 12 essential oils and have noted some of my favorite mixtures for mood, overall smell, and health.

Sample Kit for Beginners
Relaxing Essential Oils

Mood

Lemongrass+Lavender

For a while I used lemongrass oil to help me fall asleep. I rubbed a few drops of lemongrass on the bottom of my feet right before bed and I do think it helps my mind slow down and my body fall into a restful sleep. I stopped using it every night because I didn’t want to condition my brain to thinking I could only sleep with some oil on my feet. However, lemongrass is one of my favorite oils to help me unwind.

Lemon+Cinnamon

Lemon is a sharp smell that I use when I want to be upbeat and productive. I decided to mix it with cinnamon one day and really enjoyed the mixture. The health benefits for cinnamon are suppose to help relax your muscles and joints. I haven’t yet experienced that with cinnamon but I overall just love the smell.

Frankincense+Lavender

I was most excited to try frankincense oil since it’s super ancient and in the bible. Upon research I found that it has benefits that reduce stress and anxiety, helps boost immune system, and reduce pain and inflammation. I’ve combined frankincense with lavender to ease any stress and when I want to feel peaceful.

Bergamot+Lemon+Frankincense

Bergamot is a new oil that I just recently discovered. It is often used to foster an uplifting mood. Because of this, I mix with lemon and together the scent gives me a feeling of rejuvenation. I mix with frankincense especially when I want to be productive but in a relaxed way. Just getting things done but not being tense about it. I like using these types of mixtures when I am feeling creative.

Favorite Scent Combinations

Sweet Orange+Lemongrass

This is a citrusy but warm smell. It makes my house smell like Bath & Bodyworks but not in an overwhelming way. I use about 6 drops of sweet orange and 4 drops of lemongrass.

Lavender+Bergamot

I’ve always enjoyed the scent of lavender and often combine it with just about any of the oils I have. I combine lavender and burgamont for a flowery forest type of scent.

Cinnamon+Sweet Orange/Lemon

The smell of cinnamon reminds me of the holidays or just a warm, cozy home. I love cinnamon oil because I get the natural smell of cinnamon and can mix it with other warm smells. I think of cinnamon in the food form when it comes to mixing. Cinnamon with other fruit flavors mixed well in my head so I tried them out.

Health

Eucalyptus

Eucalyptus has definitely helped me with headaches. I noticed it was used when I was getting a massage in Mexico. When I would get antsy or move around, the masseuse would have me inhale a towel with eucalyptus and it made me relax. I tried the same thing last week when my mind was just clogged and I had a headache. I sprinkled a few drops of eucalyptus oil onto a warm towel and laid it on my face first, then directly onto my forehead and my neck where I felt tension. The headache went away before I fell asleep and I woke up quite refreshed.

Eucalyptus+Peppermint

Both of these oils are refreshing when I mix them together. I use them when I am feeling a little tired, headache, nauseous, or not quite balanced. It’s kind of like when you have a cold eat something spicy to clear your nose. This combination feels like I’m clearing my head.

Peppermint oil

Peppermint oil is used often in hair and skin care because of it’s anti-fungal and antioxidant properties. I saw a pimple on my chin at night and dabbed some peppermint oil on a wet q-tip. I gently applied the q-tip to the budding pimple and the next morning it was gone.

Tea Tree

Tea tree is also another oil I love for my hair and also skin. It worked wonders for ingrown hairs and dark spots. I don’t like tea tree for diffusing at all, since it smells like a cleaning supply being diffused, but I love it for hair and skin.

Lavender

Lavender really is a calming oil for me. I’ve noticed it has helped me when I am trying to slow down my thoughts and relax. I place a drop or two on my finger tips and gently massage my temples while taking deep breaths. All of this combined helps ease the stress and tension I may be feeling.

Overall Experience

I see my collection growing this year as I get more acclimated to essential oils. I don’t see essential oils as controlling my mood or emotions. I see them as something that can aid a mood but not control itOften times I am already feeling a certain way and I will use oils that match the mood or other oils that are said to help decrease negative feelings. Using essential oils is just a portion of the holistic habits and actions in wellness that have positively affected my wellbeing.

I hope you all are having a wonderful New Year so far. Maybe you can go out and try some essential oils as a new experiment this year!

As always,

“Oh you’re only *insert young age* you don’t need to worry about it” and other phrases GROWN people say

“You’re too young to worry about that”

“When I was your age I thought I knew everything too”

“Just wait until you’re my age, you’ll see”

I kinda roll my eyes when I hear these phrases. I know it’s meant with good intentions…but helloooo every problem DOES seem like a crisis as a neo-adult. I listen to a lot of podcasts and all of them are hosted by black men and women in their early-mid thirties. Their perspectives are often eye opening and reassuring. a recent episode titled “Real Love”

I was listening to my favorite podcast, The Read, a few weeks ago in an episode titled “Real Love ft. The Ellises”, when there was a letter that a 23 year old girl wrote in for lookin for advice. She was so sad about a relationship about to end and she was scared she’d be alone forever once it ended. While they gave pretty solid advice, of course her age seemed to justify her thought process and fears.

“You are twenty…three” Kid Fury said. “ All the things that happened at 23 that I don’t even remember now?” Crissle chimmed in,“I was like oh I’m big grown now…I’m older than 21”. “I can legally drink for 2 years”.

When Crissle said when she was 23 she felt big grown because she was older than 21 I felt personally called out and attacked lol. I too, feel big grown at a fresh 23 and feel “mature” because I’ve been legally able to drink for 2 years. Well that sat me all the way down lol. h


“From 15-20 you think you know everything
From 20-25 you KNOW you know everything
25-30 you realize sh*t I didn’t know wtf I was doing
Then you spend your 30s tryna fix all the things you were doing in your 20s” – Devale Ellis

Question to the 30 somethings and older

Being in your 30s seems hyped up. Lots of people talk about it being a golden decade and clarity blah blah blah. Only time I doubt that is when I watch This is Us and Jack and Becca look hella stressed with triplets. But anyways, I write this so maybe when I am in my 30s I will look back and laugh and calm myself down for whatever it is that I’m stressed about then. BUT when I hear those things from those slightly older than me by a decade or so, sometimes it can be frustrating because it can truly feel like the world is crashing on down with my 23 year old problems. How can y’all be so sure that it’s just a lesson to learn and that I’ll get over it? What if it DOESN’T work out? Don’t you know that it feels like…a really big deal?

Then I think maybe y’all are right

I don’t even think there’s really an age where you do become “grown”. I took a second to think about the chapter in life before my 20s and think of things in a different perspective. In 7 years I’ll be 30, 7 years ago I was 16. When I thought of it this way NOW I could see why people older say the things they do. When I was 16 I was so stressed out to literal TEARS about deciding whether or not to do running start, college credit while in high school, or just do AP courses. I made a whole pros and cons list, cried, and had my heart beating fast and all anxious about how much I would be missing out if I took all my classes at community college because junior year was going to be the best year ever. I giggle about this now because it was…A REALLY BIG DEAL at the time. And now, I couldn’t tell you where more than 3 people from high school are right now and I worrying about missing out on high school was the least of my problems. Getting that college credit ultimately helped me apply to my major earlier, have junior status to apply for my first study abroad program freshman year, which helped me fit 3 study abroad programs all into my college experience, and study 2 concentrations while graduating in 3.5 years.

It mattered at the time but 7 years later my biggest decision is something I don’t even think about and something that worked out in the long-run.

Woo chile the wisdom that my twenties have bestowed upon me …jk. But forreal, I guess I kind of do see the point in what’s being said to me now. I WISH my problems were as simple as deciding if I want to take college credit or not sometimes. But how I dealt with things in my late teens until now have provided me with learning opportunities and experiences about how to make great decisions.

So I get it I guess

Maybe I’m not grown GROWN but I’m…grown-ish? There’s so many firsts happening in your early twenties. I know I’ll come out on the other side just as I have so many times in my life so far.

God bless these 20 somethings.

My 2019 Hair Goals

Happy New Year!!!

A new year is here and I love the openness to a fresh start and new possibilities. When it comes to goal setting, I love starting with a clean slate and dreaming up new benchmarks to meet. With Curl Calendar in hand, it’s time to not only set my hair goals for the year, but also think about what I can do to meet these goals so at the end of 2019 I can look at my hair journey and say “wow I did that?” Here are my top hair goals for the year:

Curl Calendar hair goals section

Oil my scalp each night with moisturizing oils

Using oil on your scalp is not only relaxing, but it helps to stimulates hair growth. I have always moisturized my hair each night and follow up with an oil but this year I want to pay special attention of how I treat my scalp and really take my time to give myself nightly scalp massages. I am starting to collect essential oils now and use them for aromatherapy but also have included some in my hair routine. I would love to be consistent with seeing how my hair reacts to peppermint oil, eucalyptus oil, lavender oil, frankincense oil and more.

Wear protective styles for 6-8 months of the year

I see the most growth retention when my hair has been in a protective style. I want to protect my hair even more this year and continue wearing my hair in low maintenance styles. I also want to do these styles by myself. What I once thought I couldn’t do on my own, marley twists, I ended up doing that in December and I’m still rocking the style. I look forward to trying new styles and colors!

Get trims every 3 months

Tangles and knots really cramp my style. Waiting too long for trims result in having to get more hair cut off. I want to consistently get trims so that I don’t run into this problem and my hair stays healthy and fresh.

Treat my hair gentler and refrain from picking at my knots and tangles when they do appear

With natural hair it’s common to run into knots and tangles even when your hair is overall healthy. Sometimes my curls just get friendly with each other and decide to intertwine. I often get frustrated and think there’s something wrong with my hair. I want to stop the bad habit I have of snapping these knots off for no reason. It often happens when I’m bored and not really thinking about doing it. I think my hair would appreciate it.

Grow my hair to 18 inches or mid-back.

I feel like my hair length has sort of plateaued and I want to see some length this year. My last length check was a complete year ago and I came in at an average of about 12 inches. Hair grows an average of 6 inches so by now I SHOULD be at 18 inches but by the looks of things I feel like I’m at maybe 15? I’d like to at least be at 18 inches. From a visual standpoint, I would like my hair to reach the middle of my back.

How I Plan to Reach These Goals

I plan to have fun mixing different oils and seeing how they feel on my scalp. I’ll pay attention to the smells, the consistency, and the relaxing elements to see how my scalp reacts to each oil combination. I’ll use the key essentials checkbox in Curl Calendar to make sure I am including it in my daily routine. I’ll have a try with the handheld scalp massager and see if it’s easier to use that when I’m wearing protective styles than using my hands.

For protective styles, I plan to grow my confidence in my styling abilities by just going for it first and seeing how the style turns out! Youtube tutorials and Pinterest boards can make any style look cute and it’s easy to doubt that you have those abilities. I can easily find someone to do my hair but I’m very interested to see what I can do on my own and want the flexibility of having what I want done whenever I want and not only that, I love saving MONEY! I’ll set a weekend for styling and I’ll just DO IT!

Getting trims every 3 months will be all about timing. In between protective styles, I will schedule a professional trim so that all of the care I’m putting into my hair won’t go to waste with damaged and split ends.

I think having my hair in a protective style for majority of the year will help with my tendency to pick at my tangles and knots. I think also practicing more mindfulness will help me focus on being present with whatever I am supposed to be doing and not get carried away with tangles in my hair. I also think thoroughly detangling my hair mid-week, when not in a protective style, would be great.

My length goal can be achieved with all of the goals I listed above. If they aren’t I won’t be hard on myself. If my hair is healthy, than that’s all that matters.

Take a few minutes to check out my store on Etsy and give Curl Calendar a big thumbs up! Set and stay on track with you hair goals this year with a personal natural hair planner like Curl Calendar.

What are your 2019 hair goals?

Thanks for reading!

2018 Year in Review

Greetings Daizies,

As another year comes to an end and a new one just around the corner, it’s always great to reflect on the year and what became of it. For a few years now I have kept a journal and at the end of the year I read all of the journal entries. This year was the year I wrote the most, so reading them all back was like a story. I felt so many emotions, as life always presents you with ups, downs, twists and turns. I did a really great job at processing my thoughts through journaling. I was open with my thoughts and feelings, and took time to reflect on them and truly be honest with myself. Reflecting helps me to give thanks to what I’ve learned and move forward to a new year with a new mindset.

Goal setting

I set my goals in the themes: Career, Health, School, Business, Finances, Personal, Travel, Learning & Fun, Spirituality, and Relationships. This helped me organize my thoughts and ideas based on the different aspects of my life. I lost interest in some things I had wrote down, like getting a car or reaching 10K followers on Instagram and Youtube. And reshaped some important goals like the medium in which I launched Curl Calendar. What seemed like what was really important in January, could change based on my interest and energy. I like that. In my head there’s of course things that are more important than others. Graduating from college of course had more weight than going to Essence Fest. I’ll try again on a few things I didn’t meet, but overall I had some life changing moments in 2018.

Biggest Accomplishments

My biggest accomplishment in 2018 was graduating from college! This was a huge goal and it was the most exciting time of the year. I really enjoyed celebrating myself and with others of such a monumental moment in my life. I wanted this year to be filled with me enjoying accomplishing something amazing, having fun, and relaxing. For 5 months, I did just that. I had the spring and summer I hoped for, traveling to Vegas, Chicago, Texas, and Cali.

This year was filled with first and real adult moves in my life like getting my first apartment and starting my first job. Having a place to myself was everything I could’ve imagined. There’s nothing like coming to a place that is all yours and doing whatever you want. I was nervous about the start of my first job in my career and I am glad I am getting in the swing of things. I think the work is interesting and I am glad I am not working long hours. I am still learning and think I’ll have an amazing first year.

Reoccurring theme

One of the words I mentioned frequently throughout my journal was “priority”. With referring to where I stand in importance among others’ lives, I often was deeply affected this. It stood out a lot, which is why I like reading the entries all at once. I can see what was pulling at my heart and occupying my mind. I want to be thought of and shown as being a priority. Now I want to be thought of and shown to myself as a priority to ME. I think that could be something I can work on next year and just in general. Sometimes my idea of whether I’m important to someone could be based on fear, insecurity, miscommunication. Determining what’s negative self talk and what is actually happening was important with moving forward in certain situations. I know that I am sensitive to actions that in any way represent that I am not a priority or important in the way I think I should be. I reflected on this a few months ago and made a list of ways I can be a priority to myself and for myself. I look forward to putting those thoughts into action.

How can I have the confidence in myself to know I’m important no matter what?

Health

I think this year I was a lot more active. I walked more, I went to the YMCA as often as I could, and I did dance sessions in my living room. It’s been a full year of drinking one gallon of water. I’ve gotten sick a total of 3 times. You might not believe it but I used to get sick about twice about 5-6 times prior to increasing my water intake. Next year I’m shooting for never getting sick!

The most trying thing I’ve had to deal with health wise is my increasing sharp abdominal pain that happens daily. I’ve never mentioned it but who knows, there might be someone out there who needs to hear this. But if your stomach hurts every day, it’s not normal. Go get it checked out. Don’t let your doctor just say it’s acid reflux. Acid reflux isn’t the only diagnosis in the world. See a gastroenterologist. Thing is, I went to the hospital 3 times because of this incident and none of the original tests revealed anything. My doctor left my with no answers. I had to ASK for a specialist. Get the tests done. Don’t stop with an “I don’t know”. I did get answers though, and starting my journey to lower the inflammation experienced in my intestines. It’s frustrating and painful but I am glad I persevered. You are your biggest advocate when it comes to healthcare.

Creative

Since graduating with school in March, I wanted to invest more in my creative interests. I am so happy to see that DaibyDai received 3x as many views as in 2017. It’s a good sign, that with the same amount of blog posts my page still saw triple the amount of views. I also feel proud that I launched Curl Calendar last month. The year was almost over and I had almost run out of ideas as to how to get Curl Calendar ready for the next year. I thought I owed it to myself to not let another year pass with having all of my bright ideas stuck in a notebook, and so I went to work to make it come to life. I learned to just START. Not everything will be perfect the first time and I had to push myself to finally get an idea out there. I am really glad I did it and there’s no stopping now.

I’m still here. The new stages weren’t too fearful to bear. I made it another year and for that, I am thankful!

How was 2018 for you?

Happy New Year!

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,

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,