Queen Helene Cholesterol Creme Product Review for Natural Hair

Greetings Daizies,

Are all of the expensive natural hair products really worth it? Or is there a hair product we’ve known from our childhood all along that works just as well? Today I throw it back to Queen Helene’s Cholesterol Creme to see if this classic hair product is up to par with the high-end natural hair care products we’ve grown accustomed to buying for $10-$22. 

I wanted to bring it back to the basics and simplify my product shopping habits in the process. So I thought about hair cholesterol and remembered using it when my hair was relaxed and even before my first perm when my hair was still natural. How would it work on my 4c hair? Should we all just put these products behind us and continue on with our organic hair care product shopping? Let’s find out. 

What Does Cholesterol do for Your Hair?

When I think of cholesterol, I think of the nutritional form of fat or when people talk about having high or low cholesterol. Translating this to hair, a cholesterol treatment is one that is filled with fats and lipids that coat your hair strands to help strengthen and condition it. Similar to a protein treatment, mayonnaise and eggs are some of the most common DIY forms of cholesterol treatments. If you’ve had any recent breakage, damage, or chemical processing to your hair then this product might be for you. 

How often should you use it?

I would view a cholesterol creme the same as a protein treatment. Because it has fats and lipids that your hair needs to effectively process, I think a monthly treatment would suffice. Since I have color-treated hair, a cholesterol treatment would help replenish my hair’s moisture and build up it’s elasticity.

Queen Helene Cholesterol Creme

A huge bang for your buck, a large 32 ounce tub can be found on Amazon for only $5.22. Here’s how it’s described in the product overview:  

  • Blends Cholesterol with vital elements like Aloe and Keratin Amino Acid Protein
  • Deep conditions and rejuvenates over-stressed hair and protects from future damage
  • Washes out easily to enjoy soft, healthy and manageable hair
  • Cruelty-free

The ingredients aren’t shown on the actual Amazon product page, so I had to get the product to see that the fourth and fifth ingredients were parrafinum(mineral oil) and sodium lauryl sulfate. Yes…you read that right PARAFINUM AND SULFATE! The most forbidden ingredients all naturals steer away from and here I was with a 32-ounce jar of this. Already I could see why we left these types of products in the past. For those new to natural hair, parrafinum is one of the “P’s” to look out for when buying natural hair products. They are often found in cheaper hair products or products marketed to straighter hair types. This is the same with sulfates, commonly found in soaps, and really aid in getting that squeaky clean feeling. The problem with getting things too squeaky clean for natural hair is stripping the hair of its natural oils and causing hair to adversely become dry. So these types of ingredients are often avoided. Everyone’s hair is different so this isn’t a blanket rule for everyone with natural hair. 

Wash Day with Hair Cholesterol

The first time I used this product,  I knew I needed to add some oils and such things to offset any dryness my hair could experience from this treatment. In a separate bowl, I poured in a generous amount of the cholesterol cream with a hefty amount of olive oil and coconut oil. By the looks of my mixture, the top ingredient that would be listed would be the olive oil. The second time using the product, I wanted to see what it was like on it’s on. I applied it directly to my hair as is but still applied about a tablespoon of coconut oil onto my hair thereafter. 

I used the cream directly after shampooing but before deep conditioning. I thought the cream glided on smoothly and it was great knowing I could use an absurd amount of product without being concerned because 32 ounces is a huge amount and will probably last a while. Because I diluted it with a lot of oil, my hair soaked in the product super well and in a way I think I can count this as a hot oil treatment. 

About halfway through the bottle after 2 uses

I always apply my products in 4 sections so I don’t get overwhelmed with the thickness of my hair and I can thoroughly apply the cream to each strand of hair. Once fully applied, I covered with a plastic bag and put on my deep conditioning hat. The deep conditioning hat is a microwavable cap I’ve had for a few years now and has made deep conditioning so much more impactful. You could also make your own DIY version by warming up a damp towel and placing it on top fo your plastic bag that’s already on your hair. It may not stay warm for a long time but you can at least experience the benefits of adding heat to your conditioning treatments. 

Deep conditioning hat

Final Verdict

With both methods of application, mixing oils in a separate bowl with the product and applying the product onto my hair and oils after, I found that my hair felt soft and had a great shine to it. It got through my hair easily and I didn’t have any issues with dryness afterward. I finished both time with a deep conditioner and ended with a leave-in conditioner.

Curl definition after applying the hair product

I think it’s a decent product for it’s value and size and can be spruced up by adding your own oils. But if you want a product where you don’t need to do anything to it, I don’t think this is the product simply because of how high up on the list the paraffinum and sulfate is on the ingredient list. For a DIY base, I think it works out since it’s super thick.

Queen Helene prides itself in offering high-quality hair products since 1930, however, I think they have some work to do in this day in age where consumers are looking for natural ingredients and have the information at their fingertips to be diligent in what actually goes in the products they use. I think the brand could definitely leverage their history as a brand that elicits some nostalgia but that can only go far. I’d be interested to see if they decide to do a new product line geared to naturals of today who are very diligent and specific about the ingredients that go into their hair products.

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5 Years of Natural Hair| Tips for Growing Healthy Hair

Greetings Daizies,

It’s been another year into my natural hair journey and here I am at 5 years! I started transitioning to natural hair the summer after graduating high school and it felt like getting a large flowing afro couldn’t come fast enough. The transitioning portion was 10 months where I was excited to see all of my new growth but secretly holding on to my relaxed ends because I had never had short hair before and didn’t know if I was ready for it. Well I finally did the big chop in April 2015 and started the journey of learning about my natural hair and all its forms. Now I am happy to have healthy and thick natural hair and continue to learn each day of my journey.

July-ish 2015: 3 months post big-chop.

Things Every Natural Should Know

I’ll start by summarizing my top tips from 5 years of probably hundreds of cumulative hours managing my hair.

Get Your Trims

Going to the salon to get a trim may seem sad once you see all of your split ends on the floor but trust me it’s for your benefit in the end. There are several different methods you can try yourself to efficiently trim your hair but I suggest to at least get your hair professionally trimmed twice a year. For DIY, having a good pair of sheer scissors is important because if they are dull, you’ll end up doing more harm then good. I actually need to refresh my own pair of scissors seeing as I’ve had them for like 2 years so I will be taking my own advice as well. Knowing when to trim your hair depends on your hair health and porosity. For my hair, right around the 3-4 month mark my hair starts to just feel super dry and tangly at the ends. I alternate between trimming my own hair and going to the salon. To trim my own hair I stretch it throughout the week through a twist out and by the end of the week I can comb it out quickly or blow it out with a blow dryer to trim my hair layer by layer.

Getting rid of the split ends helps stop breakage from rising up throughout the hair strands. It helps to RETAIN the length that you’ve worked so hard to get in the first place, so don’t sleep on regular trims.

MOISTURIZE, MOISTURIZE, MOISTURIZE

When I had relaxed hair, I didn’t like to use too many hair products because I thought it would make my hair oily and dirty. I often avoided creams because it would activate the new growth into it’s curliest state at the roots, getting in the way of my dream Olivia Pope hairdo! Now in 2019, it’s no problem for me to use several handfuls of hair milk and creams for each section of my hair because the playing field has completely changed. I use variations of the LCO (Liquid, Cream/Butter, Oil) application process during the day and night. Yes, it does take time to do this but having healthy hair is going to take some time and effort. At night, I spend approximately 15-20 minutes applying a leave-in, shea butter, and coconut to each section of my hair and then braiding my hair into 4 sections to stretch it out. In the morning I’ll apply oil to the ends of my hair and style in an updo or, depending on the weather, wear my hair out loosely.

Moisturize your hair. Every day.

DEEP CONDITION

Deep conditioning weekly has been a staple in my natural hair routine since the very beginning. My products have ranged from $4 Suave to $10 TGIN products. At both ends of the price ranges, I have been able to get great results by just being consistent. You don’t need expensive products to get the benefits of deep conditioning. Adding in shea butter and olive oil to a low priced conditioner like the Suave almond and shea butter conditioner has never failed me! You can also step up the process by adding heat with a deep conditioning cap or covering your hair with a plastic bag with a hot towel on top. 

Deep conditioning is a staple in my week to unwind and pamper myself. It’s just a great time. I’ve learned that if I’m tired, it’s okay to postpone wash day until the next day. Nothing is worse than begrudgingly detangling your hair when you don’t have the patience for it to begin with. I try to start my hair when it’s bright out so that I can avoid losing my energy during the process. Deep conditioning helps give my hair the moisture it needs.

OILS

The first oil I started using was olive oil. It’s easy to find in the grocery store and has multi-purposes. I have to coat the ends of my hair at night AND the morning because my ends are just THIRSTY! Coconut oil is also another staple in my hair routine. Since last year I’ve found it useful to purchase a gallon of coconut oil in bulk rather than smaller frequent purchases. 

PROTECTIVE STYLES

This past year I’ve tested my skills with doing my own hair and now I can say I can do my own box braids and twists. This is such a big accomplishment and I love the freedom of knowing I can do my own styles whenever I want. Protective styles have been a great way to give my hair a break and for me to save time. It’s always fun taking down braids and seeing how much my hair has grown. Protective styles are also super helpful when transitioning from relaxed to natural hair so you can grow your natural hair out until you’re ready to trim the rest of the straight hair off. It’s still crucial to maintain a hair routine even with a protective style. This includes washing your hair and conditioning and oiling your scalp. Having a protective style doesn’t mean you can slack off!

Changes with my Natural Hair 

The biggest change this year with my hair was GETTING HIGHLIGHTS! I’ve always wanted blonde highlights and thought the color would look so cute on me. For over a year I contemplated getting highlights but was so afraid it would damage my hair and all the years of hard work would be in vain. After almost 5 years I decided to go for it because after all the years of hard work maintaining healthy hair I DO in fact deserve to play with it and try something new. I spend hours on my hair deep conditioning and moisturizing, so I felt I had a good chance of still having healthy hair after getting it dyed. It’s been 4 months since I got the blonde balayage and I am so glad I did it. It’s the color I’ve always wanted and I am super happy with it. 

One thing I need to make sure I do at least monthly is a protein treatment. The ORS hair mayonnaise review still gets a lot of clicks to this day and I think it’s my favorite protein treatment as of today. I’ve tried a few others but will probably stick with this one. 

Reflection on my Hair Goals

Last year one of my goals was to simply love my hair more. I think I’ve been doing that a lot this past year. I’ve been taking more pictures of my hair and having fun trying different products and essential oils in my hair routine. I also wanted to care for the crown of my hair and make it softer. I’ve come to realize that I simply have a coarser hair texture in the center of my hair and it’s not due to me neglecting my hair at all. It’s basically 4d hair texture and that’s okay. I’ve been making sure I apply lots more moisturizer to that area and being gentle with it when working with my hair. 

This next year, as I mentioned earlier, I want to incorporate more protein treatments in my routine to take care of my now color-treated hair. I also want to find it in my heart to do hot oil treatments at least monthly. It’s an extra step in an already day-long wash-day, but I’d like to see if it does any good to my hair. Otherwise, I just want to help other people with their natural hair and continue growing my hair and enjoying every part of it. 

And now time for a look down memory lane at the hairstyles of the year:


September: Wearing twists as a style before untwisting to a twist-out
September: Had fun playing around with different braided bun styles
October: Loose braid out from 4 braids
December: Havana twists by mwah!
January: One of my freshest twist-outs!
February: Did my own box braids
My hair looking scrumptious after a full wash and deep conditioning day
Typical work week look. A high puff and some lip gloss.
Guess what? These are CLIP INS! Still rocking the same clip ins from Dec 2017.
July: Curlfest 2019. Rocked a braid out from 12-15 overnight plats
August: Did my own Havana twists for my most recent trip to Colombia!

How long have you been natural? Share in the comments below!

As always,

First Time Trying a CHEMICAL PEEL | Did it Burn?

Greetings Daizies,

It’s been a while since I’ve done a skincare blog post. My skincare routine has stayed the same for a few years until recently when I’ve learned more about how to step things up mainly from taking stroll through “Skincare Twitter” over the summer. By following some licensed estheticians, I’ve learned things about skincare I never thought of. The whole area skincare seemed as foreign as natural hair does right after the big chop. Knowing the ingredients, how to build a regimen, and the COST was like a whole new world for me. 

Key tips that have changed the way I think about skincare:

@LaBeautyologist’s 60-second rule and double-cleansing – The 60-second rule is rubbing the cleanser on your face for at least 60 seconds before rinsing off. And double cleansing is using an oil to cleanse your face first and then a regular cleanser. I typically used oil cleansing just to remove my makeup. But noticed that even just for day to day cleansing the environmental factors can cause so much dirt and build up. I love the clean yet moisturized feeling of knowing all of the dirt is removed from my skin each night. 

Using SPF EVERY DAY – I first heard of this when I saw a blog post saying this is what Gabrielle Union does and I was like well if that’s her secret to looking 28 at 46 then that’s what I’m gonna do. I often kept this up during the summer but plan to do this even when it’s cold outside which will be…very soon.

Chemical vs Physical Exfoliating – Earlier in the summer I got my first professional facial. The dermatologist answered my questions about the difference between chemical versus physical exfoliating. Basically, physical exfoliating is what we are most commonly exposed to as facial scrubs with the little beads in them. The feeling of scrubbing means you’re getting all of the dead skin off right? Well, apparently those are becoming less favored by the skincare community as the little beads can be too harsh for your face and cause abrasion to the skin. So that leads to the option of chemical exfoliates. The term sounded scary because I was like hmm I don’t know about putting chemicals on my face, isn’t that bad? I did some more research and learned about the two most common ingredients for chemical exfoliates called AHAs and BHAs. AHA stands for alpha hydroxy acid. BHA stands for beta hydroxy acid. They are safe to use on the face and much gentler than beads found in most scrubs. Healthline lays out a few benefits of these exfoliant ingredients: 

  •  decrease inflammation, a key marker of acne, rosacea, and other skin concerns
  • decrease the appearance of large pores and surface wrinkles
  • even out your skin tone
  • improve overall skin texture
  • remove dead skin cells
  • unclog pores to prevent acne

I really wanted to step up my skincare routine, and try out this chemical peel method and went on the hunt to find a trusted brand for such experiments. I quickly learned that really good skincare products are actually quite expensive. You can’t really find products with active ingredients at the drugstore, so you’re looking at the higher end of spending. For me, I was used to spending maybe $5-7 max on a product. There were several brands recommended in these skincare threads on Twitter and online that started in the $20 range and I was like woah I’m not sure about all that for a starter product. Then I saw The Ordinary chemical peel being recommended as an effective and good product that wasn’t too expensive. Still, $14.99 was definitely the most money I’ve spent on a  skincare product but I know now that that is still a good deal for a chemical peel that’s great for tour skin. You can also get this product from Target for like $8 but I didn’t feel like going all the way to the store lol. Amazon got me with its convenience yet again. I waited for a few days to try it cuz I was scared it would burn my face and nervous about trying a new type of product. 

My main motivation for trying this chemical exfoliation method was getting rid of the dark spot/hyper-pigmentation I have under my eye from a large pimple I had over a month ago when I was in Vegas. I usually don’ t have large breakouts but THIS pimple was the biggest I’d ever had. And it did not go away for like 2 weeks. I was so mad. I tried my usual methods: peppermint oil, tea tree oil, Aztec clay mask, Noxzema, African black soap, sheet masks, all of that! And NONE of them made the pimple go away faster and now that it’s gone, NONE have made the scar lighten up at all. So hopefully using this a few times will help bring my skin in that area back to it’s normal complexion. 

Applying the Peel 

Step 1

The directions say to start on a clean face and to make sure your face is dry. I used a Neutrogena makeup wipe to clean any dirt from my face. Then I used a facial toner for more of a cleanse and hydration. I then waited a few minutes to make sure my face wasn’t damp anymore. 

Cleansing my face with Neutrogena makeup wipes
Applying toner: 365 brand from Whole Foods
Fresh face ready to try the peel!

Step 2 

I used the applicator tube thing, filled it to the top, and applied to the top of my cheeks, forehead, and chin and gently rubbed in the solution. It looks like a bunch of crushed cherries. I especially used a lot by the dark spot and carefully under my other eye where there was a  budding pimple.

Step 3

I closely watched the clock to make sure I didn’t leave it on for even a second over 10 minutes. 

I didn’t feel any burning or itching except on the right side of my face on my cheek. It was just a tad feeling of warmth that let me know something was on my face besides my skin.

Step 4 

I rinsed slowly with cool water and used the corner of a washcloth to rinse under my eyes. I followed with a light application of almond oil.

All done!

Honestly, right after using I did think my skin looked a little brighter. It was giving me the type of travel glow when you’re getting some sun and rest, except it was 1am and I was at home. I’m looking forward to seeing my overall results. I’m going to use this once a week for the next for weeks and document nay changes that I notice. But I had a great experience so far!

Xoxo,


Come Thru Aunt Jackie! Natural Hair Product Review

Greetings Daizies,

It’s time for a natural hair product review! I get a lot of questions about what products I use for my hair or where to start when it comes to buying new products in general. The reality is, I have been using TONS of products lately because I just love trying new brands. One brand I have grown to really enjoy is Aunt Jackie’s. Since last year I have been playing around with different leave-conditioners from the lovely Aunt Jackie brand. I talked about Aunt Jackie’s Butter Creme leave-in conditioner in my pantry inventory blog post last year. For a look into what my collection was looking like at that time, you should check out that post here. At TJ Maxx a few weeks ago, I found so many of the products I had seen on Amazon but for an even cheaper price. I was excited to try a full wash day with these products and form a more well-rounded opinion on what all Aunt Jackie has to offer for my natural hair.  

For easy access, here are the products mentioned in this post: 

  • Coco Wash Coconut Milk Conditioning Cleanser
  • Knot on My Watch Instant Detangling Therapy 
  • Oh so Clean! Moisturizing & Softening Shampoo
  • Coco Wash Coconut Milk Conditioning Cleanser
  • Quench Moisture Intensive Leave-In Conditioner 
  • Curl la la Defining Curl Custard

To check out these products or more from this brand check out their website: here

Knot on My Watch Instant Detangling Therapy 

This was actually the first product I bought made specifically for detangling. I usually detangle with a mix of conditioner, water, and coconut oil. For a DIY method, I think that is still a great option! Normally detangling takes at least an hour but with this product, I was done with each section of my hair in less than 30 minutes! 

To detangle I sectioned my hair in fourths and went through one small section first with my fingers and then with a wide-toothed comb to make sure I really got through the knots. This product had a smooth consistency that wasn’t too sticky for a detangler. I was able to move through my hair quickly and with ease. 

Moving on to shampoo…

Oh so Clean! Moisturizing & Softening Shampoo

Now I typically don’t feel any type of way about a shampoo. I usually, just feel good about a shampoo if it cleaned my scalp and didn’t have any harmful ingredients in it. However, THIS shampoo didn’t feel like any other shampoo I’ve used in the past. It was very creamy and silky and I was almost double-checking to make sure this was actually shampoo and not a light conditioner. I really liked this aspect because it definitely had more of a moisturizing effect than the usual shampoos. It went through my hair just as smooth as the detangling therapy product. 

I think this would be a great shampoo for people with hair that struggles with moisture retention or hair that is prone to breakage.

Coco Wash Coconut Milk Conditioning Cleanser

The following week when it was a co-wash only wash day, I used the Coco Wash Coconut Milk Conditioning Cleanser. For those new to natural hair routines and wondering why I didn’t just use this directly after shampooing in my wash day before, natural hair often thrives with few shampoos as to not strip the hair strands of its natural oils. Therefore during the course of a month, I alternate between shampoo + conditioner, and a co-wash only regimen followed by deep conditioning every week. 

Natural hair quick vocab:

Co-wash – Washing hair with the use of a conditioner instead of shampoo

Deep conditioning – Using a conditioner or deep treatment masque and leaving on hair for 15-45 minutes at a time. For an intensive treatment, covering hair with a plastic cap and adding heat can help the treatment be even more effective. 

The co-wash product itself felt a little like the moisturizing shampoo but with more oils for the conditioning effect. I liked it. I think it’s great if you specifically want a co-wash product but I would still be fine using a regular conditioner for a co-wash. 

Curl la la Defining Curl Custard

I’ve done a couple of twist outs using the curl custard. I think it serves as a great moisturizer. One thing I think that could be better about this product is the holding effect. It doesn’t really hold the twist pattern as tight as I would like. But I would buy it again as a styling product. It reminded me of a thick styling milk. Also, the pretty purple color is a plus. Not too often you see purple hair product right?

What’s the Verdict?

I really enjoyed these products! The shampoo stood out to me, so I would definitely purchase it again. The detangler really seemed to change the game. And I have consistently enjoyed their leave-in conditioners. I’m a little indifferent with the co-wash cleanser and the curl custard is a nice product but I would probably try another product before buying again. All in all, the products I liked I REALLY liked. 

Excited to try any of the products mentioned above? 

As always,


30 Day Clean Eating Challenge | A Family Affair

Greetings Daizies,

We all want to live our very best lives out here in the midst of taking things day by day. Part of that journey includes taking care of thE one body you have and what you put into it. If you’re out on the internet you’ve probably seen some variations of healthy eating challenges. Keto, liquid based diets, gluten free diet, no red met etc are all examples of diets many people are trying. I know a thing or two about cutting out certain foods for the best. You don’t know how hard it’s been not eating onions or tomatoes sheesh! So about a month ago, I was surprised to find out that several of my family members were going on a no meat, sugar, or bread challenge and I followed their journey throughout all of July. The participants included my mom, uncle, and grandma and later my sister and I joined in our own way.

Here’s what they each had to say about their journeys:

Mom, Znover

Q: What were things you hoped to experience from this healthy eating challenge?

Just a renewal in my body. We get used to eating a certain way and I wanted to experience a change. After the challenge, I tried bringing back things I normally ate and when I ate a small poundcake it tasted like a pound of sugar and I just couldn’t do it. Even my favorites, Saltine crackers, tasted like a bucket of salt. I now have a change in what I enjoy and what tastes good to me and it’s definitely for the better.

Q: What were your eating habits prior to the challenge

I was eating cookies. Pretty much junk food. 

Q: How did it make you feel?

Well with that you know because you think you’re eating what you want, you think it’s good. But until you do something like the 30-day challenge, you notice a positive difference.

Q: What was the biggest challenge during the first week?

Because your body is so used to having what it wants, the hardest part was overlooking the sweets and cookies, cakes, and pies that are so easy to pop in your mouth. Also, reading the labels was a challenge because I was so used to just eating whatever I wanted regardless of what was in it. But I made it through and I’m so grateful.

Q: What were your results from the challenge?

I’m not as tired, not as sluggish. I’ve kept my weight down and incorporated more exercising. I even have less headaches. I still read the labels and try to limit sugars. I feel really good!

Q: Advice for someone wanting to do a health challenge?

I think it’s a great idea to talk to your doctor to see if it’s best for you and to also get some advice. My doctor said what I was doing was a great idea but to make sure I incorporated some protein. I did this a lot through eating fish. You have to make sure you actually want to do this. You have to have a made-up mind and say “this is what I want to do.” 

MY HEALTHY LIFESTYLE STILL BEING MAINTAINED AFTER THE 
30 DAY CHALLENGE
Italian Turkey Brats..Barley & 
Brussels Sprouts..Yum..Yum..Goodt!! Lol!!
I GUESS AS YOU GET MORE MATURE(LOL!!) U EAT THINGS YOU WOULD HAVE NEVER WHEN WHEN YOU WERE YOUNGER… THEM AVOCADOS ARE BOMB!!!
HAHAHAAA!!! 


Uncle, Peter

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Q: How did this challenge start for you?

It started as a challenge with my team at work. We wanted to do some sort of challenge. So I said, “how about no meat, no sugar, and no bread challenge”. Did a video and a fun thing for people to guess who would stick to the challenge and how much weight each person would lose. 

Q: What were the things you hoped to experience from this healthy eating challenge?

For one, I wanted to see better health results as far as my cholesterol levels. And also if I could stick with someone for 30 days then I could pretty much do anything. So it was a discipline thing for me. And doing it with others made it fun, especially since I’m competitive.

Q: What things did you do to help you be successful at this challenge?

One I knew I was starting this journey I immediately went shopping. I bought food for at home and at work so I could avoid cravings. I mentally prepared myself for this so I could stay determined, When I went out to eat I would get side dishes and still enjoyed myself.


Q: What did you learn?

The amount of weight you carry most likely has more to do with what you consume than what you do. Years ago when I was heavy in the gym, doing a lot of kickboxing, I never really lost weight. My weight often fluctuated. I knew that needed to change. With this, I did no working out and in 30 days I lost 22 pounds.


Q: What was your favorite meal?

I ate a lot of eggs in many different ways!

Q: Advice for someone wanting to do a health challenge?

It’s a lot more fun doing this challenge with a group of friends. Find some buddies and make it fun!


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Day #29 – Breakfast
Jalapeno&Cheddar Grits w/ 2 boiled eggs. Drink – OJ

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Day #27 – Mixed Greens & Grilled Salmon
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Day #30 – Final Day
Lunch – Smoked mustard and collard greens topped with freshly cut onion and jalapeno with side of cubed yams!


Grandma, Almeeta

Q: How did you find out about this challenge? 

I found out through my daughter, Znover. She was telling me about what she was doing. And then I saw Peter talking about what he was doing. So I said “oh I’ll try that too”. Doing things like this, just like with exercise, seem to be easier if you’re doing it with someone. And I’m glad that I did this. 

Q: What did you hope to feel after this challenge and did that happen for you?

I got out of this challenge everything that I was expecting to receive. I experienced what I hoped to experience and that was a healthy feeling – not tired, or run down. I lost about 10 pounds. That’s how I was feeling before I went on this journey. It was really good for me. I ate mostly fish and salads. I enjoyed it then and I’m enjoying it still. I feel healthier, lighter, and I have more challenges

Q: Were there any challenges in the first few days?

I had a craving to eat meat like a hamburger or steak. And especially on the third day I really wanted a Wendy’s Frosty. But I got through it by putting my mind on something else and reminding myself to stick to what I said I would do.

Q: What did you learn?

I was on this journey when I was younger where I would read the labels. It doesn’t take all of the heavy foods to be full or to enjoy your meal. I learned that I can actually go without meat. I could eat baked chicken or boiled chicken and it tastes just as good as fried. 

Q: Advice for people want to do it?

Be sure that you get advice from your physician to see if your body is healthy enough to go through it. Once that is taken care of, put your mind to it and stick to it. Do it for yourself. Don’t give up!

Late Lunch!
Sardines with a shrimp SAUCE, bowl or pared and peaches!

My Journey with No Red Meat Challenge


I didn’t want to post about my journey because posting it meant I would have people to hold me accountable lol. But I became inspired by my family to try something like this and see how it goes. I wasn’t moved to do a complete no meat, sugar, and bread type of diet at all but I have always wanted to try cutting out red meat for an extended period of time because this is one of the dietary tips I have seen to help reduce stomach inflammation which is one of the chronic issues I deal with. Red meat already was something I limited once I found out it could be a contributor to digestive issues, so really my intake of it came with my obsession of tri-tip steak sandwiches, burgers, burritos and hot dogs. Basically eating out and having that sharp craving for something salty is when I really reached for red meat.

I am 2 weeks in and I am so proud of myself! There have been several times where I’ve wanted to order something and had to stop myself. The main thing is taking the extra step to find a different option when I’m just trying to eat something convenient. It was hard in New York when there was a Philly cheesesteak restaurant right in front of us and we were starving. I wanted to try it so bad but I actually just got a chicken cheesesteak instead. I noticed a lot of things I like come in chicken or turkey form. Now I feel like I am in cruise control with this challenge. I haven’t noticed a huge difference with my health but mentally I don’t crave it like I used to.

Thanks for reading Daizies.

As always take it step by step

and

My First Time in New York! Curlfest, Culture & More

Greetings Daizies,

It’s hard to believe that after traveling to 16 countries and dozens of cities, up until last week I had NEVER been to New York City, let alone anywhere on the East Coast. It was kind of one of those things on my “list” but like not really top of mind. Like when someone mentions a movie you’ve never seen that apparently everyone has so you put it on your “list”. Well I knew I would eventually get to NYC but got more excited with opportunities to travel outside of the U.S. than exploring the cities right here in my country.

This all changed when I was scrolling through Instagram and came across the Curlfest festival announcement for it’s 6th annual event celebrating natural hair. I remember seeing the photos last year of black women with all forms of hair having a good time and I said I would be there next year. So next year came and I said welp this is finally my time to go to New York! I made a weekend of it and met up with one of my great friends from college. We were both really excited for Curlfest on Saturday and the Rollerset skate party on Sunday.

Planning and Preparation

I planned for this trip a lot differently than for other trips which ultimately meant… having more of a go with the flow approach. Honestly, the trip came up during the week I got back from an 8 day Vegas trip for a work conference and I had just 3 days in between to debrief and get on the plane again. I didn’t do the usual research of watching many YouTube videos and reading blogs and spending time to develop an extensive itinerary. I ended up making sort of a last minute list of things I wanted to see and my friend put together an itinerary of things I could do and see while in town. That helped a lot! People I talked to said 4 days in New York wasn’t enough but I didn’t let that get to me. I knew there were probably dozens of activities and things to do but didn’t want this trip to be about trying to digest all of NYC at once. I came in knowing there’s a sea of things to do and I would be happy just doing and seeing a few things each day. So that’s exactly what I did.

Day 1

I took it really easy after arriving from Newark airport around 6am. A nap was much needed! I had the BEST food of my trip that day, a carribbean restaurant located by Utica Ave subway stop. All of my food choices were discovered by a “best food near me” search on Google Maps. This time it led me to Ali’s Roti shop. I didn’t know what to order but I heard the woman ahead of me order chicken roti so I guess what? I got chicken roti too lol. This is the one of few times I enjoyed trying a new dish at random. I am very picky when it comes to food sometimes. But this right here? This right here was EVERYTHING! Y’all it was so good that I didn’t even take a picture. But for what it’s worth I’m just gonna insert a general image of what chicken roti looks like.

Nonetheless, within my first hour out and about, I had actual conversations with people around me. I know that may sound odd but like it’s not common in the PNW for people to just have random conversations with people walking on the block. Like I could go the entire week without having anyone to talk to in the neighborhood or riding the bus. People stay to themselves way more out West. But in Brooklyn I found it so interesting how I could meet people in any place and spark up a conversation. Just after walking out of the Caribbean restaurant, a woman was dancing to some instruments a group of guys were playing and we both laughed. We talked for several blocks until she helped me get to the next place I was going. Simple interaction but representative of the overall vibe I got while in New York. People were a lot more open to talking to those around them. I found this out on the subway, stores, and just walking around. There was never a day where I didn’t meet someone new!

The highlight of my first day was seeing the Brooklyn Bridge at sunset. I learned quickly that the city is huge and going from one place to another sounds like it’ll be quick but could take from 20-45 minutes honestly. But nonetheless, I made it in perfect time to take in the city at a beautiful time of the evening. It’s still quite active even as it gets darker. I was already loving the hustle and bustle of the city.

Looking out into the city

After seeing Times Square so much throughout my life, being there in person felt like I had been there before. I think it’s one of the most popular settings for tv shows and movies. Like I have seen it so much that it was exactly as I expected. I liked it alot though! Working in brand, I couldn’t help but take in the advertising styles and make my own analysis of if the campaigns were impactful. It was interesting to see which brands were able to get a spot on the famous billboards. And I wondered how the companies selected which of their shows or products ton highlight. It was a marketers playground there.

Day 2

Spotted: DaibyDai at The Met steps

With my first full day, I explored the Metropolitan Museum of Art, other wise known as the Met. All the Gossip Girl fans know about the iconic Met steps. It’s definitely a hang out spot for the teens these days. The museum is HUGE! Reminds me of the British Museum in terms of size. Just one wing could take well over an hour. I loved all of the art and learning about different cultures. There was an extensive Polynesian and Oceanian section which I hadn’t seen before in museums.

A mini stroll through Central Park

Central Park and the Met are right next to each other so you could see both in one trip which is what I did before exploring the museum. It was a day full of walking and from that day forward I wore my gym shoes instead of my sandals.

Curlfest

Curlfest radiated with such positive and exciting energy from the thousands of beautiful black women coming together to celebrate natural hair. It was totally my type of party and I loved just being around US and meeting new people. The festival is in its 6th year now and I can definitely see it growing even more. There was an agenda for the event with an area for panels and speakers. I intended to go check it out but once I got into the festival grounds there was just so much that kept me entertained. I was inspired by the array of black-owned businesses as vendors around the perimeter of the park. There is just so much creativity in our community. I learned once you see a shirt you like, just get it, cuz waiting to see if you want it will result in it being gone lol! I did get some cool shirts and a pair of Egyptian queen earrings. 

We got a slew of samples from various natural hair brands like Creme of Nature, Palmers, and a new brand for me called Kiss. I really like the deep leave-in conditioner samples from Kiss. Takes about 6 sample packers to adequately coat my hair but I’m interested in buying a full-sized product. There was an option to purchase discounted hair products from popular brands and there was a hefty line for the Deva Curl sample bag but my friend and I decided to ditch the long line and explore other booths. There was a brand called the Natural Club with tons of people waiting to buy products and I was curious as to what all the hype was about. They were selling 3 packets of deep conditioners for $20! And that was considered a deal. I have never seen anything that expensive but I’m intrigued because it had tons of people waiting in the heat for it. 

Each brand usually had a cute little photo booth for people to take pictures with. A great way to get brand visibility from user-generated content. I liked learning about the newer brands as well and seeing what their unique traits were. Oh and the music was popping! The main stage was where a lot went down. From afro-beats to hip hop, to the black classic of swag surfing. It was no wonder time flew by and after a few hours, I looked at my phone and it was almost 7pm! I really just had fun enjoying the company and joy of the event. 

Good times, good vibes

The following day was the Curlfest skate party at Prospect Park. A lot easier commute than Randall’s Island of course. The music was so good I probably danced more than skated. Creme of Nature gave out free hair color. I grabbed blonde but will probably just wait until I need a touch up of my highlights to use it. There was double dutch, photo booths, and a general dancing area. It takes a lot of work to dance on skates but I did it for the most part! Also, I made it to New York City just one week after the heatwave, and I am really glad I did because the weather was pretty tolerable but any hotter would’ve sent me.

Curlfest Rollerset party

The Rest of My Trip

The rest of the trip flew by after Curlfest. My final tourist attraction was visiting the Empire State Building. It’s $42 to visit the 86th-floor observatory. The museum leading up to the observatory is actually cool. There are visuals and artwork describing how it was made and how iconic the building has been since then. I was in awe to find out that the tallest building in the world was built in 13 months! It seems like it takes 13 months for a pothole to get fixed and that’s in 2019! I took my time taking in the city from the vantage point and took some great pictures.

Way way way up!
Views

It was a short and sweet trip to New York City. I know I’m just scratching the surface of all the city has to offer but I enjoyed even the surface. I look forward to exploring the Bronx and Harlem next time I go! But what a fun weekend I had.

Don’t forget to take it step by step and…

Celebrating 4 Years of DaibyDai!

Greetings Daizies,

Last night as I finished rubbing frankincense oil around my temples and scalp, I was thinking about writing my next blog post and what the subject should be. Today as I login to the drafting page, I get this little notification from WordPress saying “Happy Anniversary with WordPress!” Exactly 4 years ago DaibyDai was born and I wanted to pause and take some time to celebrated my blog’s birthday.

Thinking back to four years ago, I had just finished my freshman year of college and was preparing to go on my first study abroad trip which would also be my first time outside of the country. It was a time where I was relieved to finish such a challenging year of college yet excited to really be doing something I had set out to do, which was study abroad. Part of our course assignments was to write a blog post after each company visit we went to in London (the program was about Hi-Tech in the UK). So really I started it for homework reasons, but it was also about 3 months after my big chop and I started becoming more interested in learning everything there was to know about growing long healthy natural hair and thought it would be cool to document my experience.

I got really into it and began sharing my blog with more and more people. I still find it amazing how there’s people all over the world reading my blog posts. I started touching on other topics like health/wellness, mindfulness, skincare, and lifestyle. I continue learning and figuring out life as I go and I have found it very therapeutic to write it out here. It became something really personal to me and something I’m proud of. My thoughts and outlook on life at the time all summed up into a blog post. And sometimes there were people out there having the same thoughts I had or who felt excited to try a new product or visit a new place or start solo traveling because of the experiences I shared. And that’s one of the coolest experiences about having a blog. Even if what you write doesn’t reach thousands and thousands of people, if it helped just one person, it feels rewarding.

No matter how many new ideas and ventures I have I always find my way back to writing. DaibyDai is where I got the confidence to put out any of my creative ideas. If I had the courage to start a blog, I have the courage to do anything. I feel like I’ve grown as a writer and as a creator. It took time to develop the theme, the Daizies concept, the colors, the content, the whole brand, all of that is my creativity coming to work.

I know there have been times when I plan and set goals to blog three times a week and go really hard at promoting the site and there are times where my priorities shift. It seems like in this day and age we are often pressured to monetize our hobbies and turn it into a stream of revenue. And over the past 4 years I’ve had bursts of energy where this was the goal. I have had to find a balance with my entrepreneurial goals and having something for myself without the burning pressure to make it take off. Whether I reach my entrepreneurship goals with DaibyDai or any of the other ideas I’ve gone on to create (FroandTravel, Curl Calendar, Dai of Social, I want to focus on how I’m feeling when I’m creating. I feel good when I enjoy writing and getting my ideas into the world on my own terms and that’s what I’ll continue to do.

When I say “step by step, DaibyDai” it’s not just a tagline but it’s a positive affirmation I live by. In times of uncertainty, stress, or anxiety I bring it back to just taking things day by day. Just one step at a time. DaibyDai is my baby. It’s so much of the things I enjoy most, hair and amazing travels, and stories of learnings and ways I’ve experienced growth over the years. It’s a canvas of growth in my early twenties now that I think about it. From 19 to 23 years old is a unique piece of my life and there’s so much greatness ahead. I have a great way to look back on things I’ve written and find encouragement, wisdom, and excitement for the future based on experiences and lessons I’ve gained throughout these 4 years. Cheers to many more years of DaibyDai!

Lastly, I want to say thank you to my readers, my loyal DAIZIES that have been with me since day 1 and the ones that have joined the field through the years. Your support really means a lot to me. Sometimes I post something and pretend it doesn’t exist and when someone brings it up and say they enjoyed it, I feel my eyes get wide and it makes me excited. So for sure it makes a difference and I appreciate you!

A huge thanks to my Daizies!

Happy Birthday to DaibyDai!

As always,