Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Who put the bomp?

I'm feeling a little under the weather today, so I put on some feel good tunes. Right now listening the song 'Who put the bomp?' by Barry Mann. Check it out if you like oldies! My favorite part is where says in a normal voice'Darling, bom bom bom bom bom de bom, and my honey rama lama ding dong forever'.

The diet's been good so far. Peas, spinach, hummus, oranges, and the like. I haven't been drinking as much water as I should... meaning progress charts will be coming out to mark document my non-successes.

Good new- I finished 1/2 of my Christmas presents. I'll be making a post later tonight with all the photos. Woo-hoo for presents!!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

New Regime

Alright y'all, I'm in for a new diet & exercise routine... And I'm here to share how to get into bikini shape with you.

I'll be working out twice a day, once in the morning to get my day going and once at night. My routine will be:
  • 30 minutes cardio in the morning
  • 30 reps of each stability/strengthening exercise (total of 15)
  • 30 minutes cardio in the evening

I don't believe in starving myself for the sake of dieting. I'm pro-food, just good food. I'll eat as much as I want when I want. My diet will consist of:

  • fruits & veggies
  • some legumes to make things interesting
  • 128 ounces of water a day. (half by noon, drink rest throughout the day)
  • herbal tea
I'll update this blog every night for the next month with what I ate and how much exercise I did that day. At the end of this journey you bet I'll be posting a before and after.

xoxo, stay beautiful

Friday, November 13, 2009

Do-It-Yourself Christmas Presents!!

I'm excited to present to everybody the marriage of three of my favorite things of all time:
  • Do-It-Yourself Projects
  • Presents!!!
  • Body/Spa Products

So as you can tell I'm pretty excited about this. I love giving presents to the people I love, and it will be nice to share a piece of myself with them in their presents.

Christmas is coming up and I'm making some trinkets for the leading people in my life. Thankfully all the people I love enjoy a little pampering so I will be making a little spa set for them all. It will Include:

  1. Bath Salts
  2. Candles
  3. Body Butter
  4. Facial Masks
I'll be working on these over the next few weeks, and once I'm done I'll be sure to post pictures for you all.


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

My Hair

Hello Beauties!

First of all, sorry I've been away so long. I hope your summers were fantastic.

I know some of you had questions on my hair, so I'm going to answer them.

Every black girl has a hair story. Here's mine:

I had natural hair until about the age of 13 when I decided I wanted to put a relaxer in. Styling my hair was absolutely dreadful because I had thick, coarse, curly hair and no idea of proper styling techniques. The lady who used to style my hair was about as clueless as I was in styling natural black hair as I was. I dreaded combing my hair because it hurt and always ended with fist-fulls of hair left behind in the comb.

Relaxing my hair was an ordeal. I didn't wash my hair for several days before the process so I wouldn't have a raw head exposed to the lye-based chemicals. I only relaxed my hair to the texturized point, but each time it still brought me to the verge of tears. I continued this cycle until the age of 17 when I'd had enough and decided to go natural.

I transitioned from relaxed hair to natural hair with the help of braid and twist styles. I cut off the relaxed hair bit by bit, so it wasn't very traumatic for me.

When I finally had a full head of natural hair, it was a learning curve. Believe me when I say those were some of my more scruffy days. I was learning how to style my hair, wash my hair, what products to put in my hair, etc. And I loved every minute of it. Sure, there were times when I would get frustrated with how much time I spend on my hair, but then I'd look at one of my spirals and fall in love again. I was also doing endless hours of research on natural hair & products at this time.

One of the issues I had with my hair early on was shrinkage. African hair can shrink to more than half of it's length. Look below- pictures are worth a thousand words!

My hair after washing:

My hair stretched out:

So as you can see, my hair is a lot longer than it appears. I admit I used to be all about the length and there was nothing more frustrating than having all this length and not being able to show it. Eventually I stopped caring so much about the length of my hair, and started focusing on having healthy, good-looking hair. Eventually the length did come, and come some more. I've never had hair this long that I can remember in my life :)

My hair is the curliest of the curly- 4b in the Andre Walker hair typing system.

I can't give you a be all, end all guide for natural hair. The reason is afro hair is the most varied hair out there. What works for me will not work for you the same way. It took me a couple years of trial and error to figure out what my hair loves. Don't become discouraged when you hear "couple years" because you're trying out new products, it's fun!

Some basic guidelines- expensive doesn't always go hand in hand with quality, synthetic doesn't mean bad (but also not good), and have fun! Learn to read the cosmetic labels- it will potentially save your hair.

What I've found works for me is completely avoiding using Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) and Sodium laureth sulfate (SLES) which can be found in many commercial shampoos and laundry detergent (!). I found they strip my hair and leave it like straw. African hair is more prone to dryness then other hair types and cannot be washed with regular shampoos every day.

I wash my hair once a week and for regular washings, I find using a Herbal Essences conditioner and scrubbing my scalp sufficient to get a good clean. Other times I'll use African black soap to wash my hair and it's splendid. I usually make my own products for daily use, but Carol's Daughter has some good products for black hair. For those of you who are a little more strapped, Oyin Handmade also makes some good products for really reasonable prices.

Another factor in how products work is the hardness of the water. What products I use depend on where I am. Different regions have different water, and they make my hair react differently to the same products. Again, trial and error will be your best tools.

I usually style my hair in twists and twist outs. The chunky fro is also a favorite. For delicate styles I'll spend 5-6 hours per week on my hair, but to simple fro's maybe 1 hour. Because my hair is so much healthier than it has ever been, I can color it from time to time. The last time I colored my hair I used cherry kool-aid to give it a tint. It's made nice highlights in the sun. Remember, when you dye your hair, extra deep conditioning is a must. I also never flat iron my hair or blow dry it on hot, because heat damages curls.

The last thing I have to say about natural hair is the confidence it gave me. I used to N-E-V-E-R open the door without it being perfect or a hat on. Now when I hear the doorbell and I'm asleep, I'll pop out of bed without a thought on what my hair looks like :) And I can't tell you how convenient it was traveling for a couple months without having to think about when I'm getting my next relaxer.

If you choose to make the decision to go natural, know you're doing it for you. Don't let anybody discourage you. If they are put off by your hair, how good a person are they truly? There's hundreds of girls out there willing to guide you when you start your journey and that starts off with me :)

*** I'm in no way bashing relaxed hair. People have a right to choose how they want to style their hair. I'm sharing my experiences with my hair :) ***

Friday, May 22, 2009

How To Stay Fabulous in the Desert

I've neglected my blog for the past couple weeks and you may want to know why. I'm spending some time in the desert.

The desert is a harsh place that tries you mentally & physically.

The day brings 100+ degree weather and it can drop below freezing at night. It's full of unfriendly critters & plants. Water is next to impossible to find. Depending on the time of year, you can end up drenched in rain & freezing cold. The desert is the only place where you can die of heat stroke and hypothermia in the same day.

I'm in the desert camping for up to 8 days at a time.

That said, here's how to deal with a short stay in the desert.

This is just a basic overview of what you'll need. Remember to get all the essentials, but also that you'll be carrying it all so don't over-do it.

  • Large Backpack
  • Hiking Boots
  • Long durable cotton pants (carhearts, dickies, etc.)
  • Sweater
  • Few T-Shirts
  • Water jugs (a few 2-3 liter jugs)
  • Bandana
  • Compass
  • Tent
  • Sleeping Bag (rated below freezing)
  • Sunglasses
  • Rain Gear

Large backpack to put all your stuff in. You'll need durable, waterproof, boots to protect your feet from bites, uneven terrain, etc. Make sure to always shake your boots out in the morning before you put them on. Favorite hiding place for scorpions and spiders. Also, when you overheat you can wet down a bandana to cool you down. Make sure to drink 6-8 liters of water a day! Less than 4 and you'll become dehydrated which is absolutely no fun.

Staying Fabulous List
  • Toothbrush/toothpaste
  • Alcohol (preferably scented)
  • Baby wipes
  • Lotion
  • Shea Butter
  • Oil
  • Baby Powder
  • Deodorant
You won't be showering for a few days, but there is no reason to negate good hygiene. Use alcohol and babywipes to wipe down and cover up in lotion or you'll end up very dry. Shea butter and oil are for the hair- they're easiest to use and carry. You might get chafing in which case baby powder will help. Also if you just want to feel cool.

Also, depending where you are, keep an eye out for pottery and any other signs of peoples that used to live in the area. If you find something, have a look, take a picture, then put it back exactly as you found it!

Some people don't like to use tents because they feel it makes them more 'at one with nature'. Only idiots do that. Get a tent. Use it. There are all sorts of dangerous critters that come out at night and it's better to have some sort of barrier between you and them (i.e. tent).

LunaPads & Diva Cups


AKA That time of the month, Aunt Flo, Little Friend, Red Wave, Crimson Tide, Big Red, The Curse, Monthly Monster.

Periods are something all women have to deal with. Pads and tampons are our preferred choice when it comes to dealing with our monthly shedding. A pack of Always doesn't seem like so much at the supermarket, but the $7 each month adds up to a lot over your lifetime- and could be better spend on something like make-up or even better yet in savings.

So, it's nice to say it would be great to save money on pads & tampons that only end up in landfills, but how?

I present to you a girls two best friends:

The Diva Cup:

So, what is the DivaCup?

The DivaCup is a menstrual cup that is made out of healthcare grade silicone that collects menstrual flow. It is latex-free, plastic-free, dye-free, and BPA-free.

It is inserted at the lower base of the vaginal canal. It is soft and smooth so it cannot be felt when inserted properly and will not leak. It only needs to be changed 2-3 times a day (amazing!) and can be worn overnight without risking toxic shock syndrome (TSS).

The diva cup comes in two sizes:
  • Size 1: 30 years & under who have never given birth. Slightly smaller.
  • Size 2: over 30 years or have given birth (including c-section). Slightly larger.
There actual size difference between the two is very small (1/8 of an inch) but get your right size so you avoid leakage.

And LunaPads:

LunaPads are reusable menstrual cloths. They come in pads, pantyliners, and panties. It's as simple as it sounds. Use and wash.


I went to a local health food store (The Big Carrot for you Toronto girls) to buy mine. It cost $40 CAD regularly but was on sale for $30 CAD. You can also buy it at Whole Food Market for $40 CAD. If you don't have a Whole Foods where you live, you can also buy it online off of or

This is what came in the package:

(DivaCup, Diva Pin, Diva Bag, and Instructions)

I picked up a Size 1 (under 30/no children) and took it home. Then I waited for my period to show up. When I finally got my period, I was going out clubbing that night and I thought this would be the perfect time to try out my DivaCup. It was very difficult to get in at first, I tried all these different folds, but I found the C-Fold (detailed in the instructions) to be the easiest to use.

The size of it at first is intimidating, but it's exactly what you need. Here's a pic of it in comparison to a hand:

I wanted to give up, but I was determined to love this product and save TONS of money on menstrual products. After getting it up halfway about 20 times, I finally managed to get it in correctly. After the discomfort of getting it in the first time, I felt nothing when it was finally in.

I partied the night away, and the next morning I took it out. I accidentally just pulled it out rather than squeeze to break the seal then pull out. Either way, wasn't much of a big deal. I just poured everything out into the toilet and flushed.

No leaking, no spilling, and it was really comfortable. I honestly was a little afraid that it would leak a little, so I work pantiliners. Nothing leaked, but just in case, I'd like to get a couple of the LunaPad panties with pantiliners built in.

It was a lot easier getting it in the second time and every successive time I didn't even think about it when I put it in. It actually lessened my cramping too!

*****A lot of these pictures are borrowed*****

Some of the folds:





The DivaCup and a couple LunaPads will set you up for life. There is no reason why you should wait to get them- they're amazing not only for you but also the environment. No leaks, no odor, no mess. Go get one today! It was the best money I've spent in a long time.

I ♥ My Divacup

Friday, April 24, 2009


*****I'd like to thank all of my followers and commentors for your kinds words during this time. Even though I may not have commented back or replied, I'd like you all to know that I read them and it moved me to know that you are all so caring.*****

The boy I told you about who was burned in the fire has died. He passed away Sunday April 20th from burn wounds he sustained on the April 14th fire.

His name is David, 19 years old, a rugby player, and econ major.

I didn't know David, but he is familiar to me. I saw him coming into the building, in line at the caf, perhaps around campus or maybe in a few of my classes. He may have held the door open for me a few times. He came from Toronto. He went to private school. He and I had many similarities, but there is so much I don't know about him.

I don't know if he liked being called David or Dave. I don't know if he was funny or a good cook. I don't know how he treated other people. I don't know if he had a cat or dog. Or who his best friend was. I don't even know if he ever fell in love.

Here is his photo:

He looked like a fun guy. This is a picture of him from Halloween:

I can't express how truly sorry I am for his family. I cannot imagine the pain they are feeling right now. Although he was medicated, David's last days were spent in pain. To watch a loved one go through six days of suffering is about as bad as going through it yourself.

Rest in peace David. I'm sure you will be missed.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Fire In My Residence

My dorm caught fire this past Tuesday at about 6:15 p.m.

I was in the building when the fire alarm went off, and as always I thought it was a fake as I have been in so many real fire alarm situations yet none was an actual fire. I had an exam at 6:30 and was concerned with getting out of the building as well as gathering my pencils, etc. As I was leaving I heard that a guy was badly burned on the 4th floor.

Here are some pictures of fireman putting out the fire:

When I returned from my exam, there were police men, firemen, and my home was blocked by police tape. We were not allowed in. I was let known that there would be a meeting later on that night for all dorm residents. At the meeting they let us know a guy was burned badly and in critical condition. He remains in critical condition til today, Thursday.

This is what it looked like when I came home from my exam:

And some pictures of the day after:

Here are some pictures of when we were allowed to go back in for 5 minutes to grab some stuff the next day. We had to wear masks to avoid carbon monoxide inhalation:

The school has done an excellent job of coordinating hotels for us to stay as well as supporting us in every way. This was not easy for anyone, but the only true victims of this ordeal was the boy and his family.

My heart goes out for the affected boy and his family. The emotional pain of the parents and the physical pain of the boy must be unbearable. The fire exact details of how the fire was started have not been released but I know so far that in no way was the fire the boys fault. He will suffer now everyday for the rest of his life as a result of a freak accident. People will see him differently. Friends he thought he had will slowly drift away. I can just hope that adversity will make him stronger and that true friends will appear in places he never looked. I did not personally know the victim, but I more likely than not passed him in the hallway or stood behind him in line at the cafeteria. It saddens me to see how a lot of his life has been ruined before it even really began. I keep him and his family in my prayers and hope you will too.

I know we have all heard of fires and burns, but I would like to give you a real idea of the excruciating pain, suffering, and complications that come along with it.

Here is a picture of a burn victim:

If any of you have ever been burned before it was most likely very small and very painful. Now you can start to imagine the immense pain that is spread over all his body. At this stage, he is fighting off infection, shock, as well as a myriad of other possible infections.

When this happened, I thought of America's Next Top Model contestant Tahlia who was a burn victim as a child. As an adult, she still struggles with self-esteem and confidence issues that stem from her scars. However, over America's Next Top Model I saw her start to grow out of her shell and start gaining confidence in herself and her looks. She is an inspiration for any burn victims out there:

I know I have missed some things and will have to come back to this post to re-edit and maybe make another post on fire safety, but I just wanted to let you all know what is happening.

Let your loved ones know how much you truly care for them and give them a hug as you never know how long you have of them. Put aside trivial things and pursue what makes you happy in life. You are never guaranteed tomorrow. Please, please, please start living your life today. Don't let anything hold you back. And remember you're always loved.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Hair Bow & Frog Princess & Banana Hair Mask

Hi guys!!

So I did a little shopping this week and picked up this lovely thing. It was from the dollar store ($1 CAD) and came in a few colours (browns & black). The browns were to pale for me, so I choose to go with the black. The dollar store carries a lot of pre-teen, colourful hair accessories but if you're willing to look and have an eye for goodies I'm sure you'll find some steals.

I really like this bow because it can really spice up an otherwise plain hairdo. It's so preppy, but fun at the same time. I can already imagine paired with my pale blue cropped cardigan. Also, it's very versatile. I can wear it with my hair down or up in a bun. I really like it.

Here's how it came out looking on me:

I am really excited to tell you that... Disney is finally having it's first black princess!!! The name of the movie is THE PRINCESS AND THE FROG and will be released DECEMBER 11, 2009. Take all the black kids you know to see it!!

Growing up watching Disney films, I never had a chance to see somebody who looked like me on film. So I'm happy that as of Dec. 11, 09 black girls growing up will have the chance to see themselves reflected in a princesses in a movie.

Here's a list of other races that have had a princess/main character in Disney movies:
  • White ......................................Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, Ariel
  • Native American ....................Pocahontas
  • Asian...................................... Mulan
  • Arab........................................Aladdin
  • Gypsy .....................................The Hunchback of Notre Dame

And now I'm adding to the list of Disney royalty Princess Tiana, have a look:

So I'm leaving it off with a hair mask. Today was my hair washing day, and for my deep conditioning treatment I did a banana hair mask. I try to do it a few times a month. Personally, I love this treatment and find it works really well for me. It's great for all hair types and races so everybody can do it!

The riper the banana the better, so you can save even more by getting the overripe bananas from the store. It's cheap and convenient, which is perfect for a student like me.

What you'll need is:
  • an overripe banana
  • a tbsp full-fat mayonnaise
  • a tbsp avocado
  • few drops of your favorite essential oils
Mix it all together in a blender or with a hand mixer. Leave it on for 20 minutes and rinse out. If you find you're having problems with the banana chunks/seeds sticking in your hair, switching to banana baby food help eliminate that problem. And there you have it. A perfectly natural, cost-effective deep conditioning treatment.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Getting Your Nails Done

Hi everybody!!

So I choose today as my mani/pedi day. I usually like to do my manicure and pedicure, but if you find yourself needing to touch up your pedicure but you don't need to redo your manicure, latex gloves should help you avoid ruining your mani from the nail polish remover.

I buy pharmacy nail polish as most of it is good quality and budget-friendly. I try to pick up different colours even though it is really tempting to get a matte yellow as well as metallic, but I realize very few people would realize the difference. Once I've found a good brand I'll stick with it. A word of caution, dollar store nail varnishes seem great except for you'll find that the darker colors can really stain your nails. So I advise you to pick lighter colors or just stay away. Some brands I've found I really the quality and price of are: L'Oreal, Sally Hansen, and NYC for bright colors.

So, you've chosen a colour (or the Americanized color :):

I'm a bit lazy when it comes to my nails. I don't break out all the spa tools every time that I paint my nails. I find that a nail file (or clipper if you're in a pinch), some nail polish remover, a q-tip (to get off the nail polish that makes its way onto your skin), and some clear nail polish will do. I also have an ONYX aerosol nail dryer and Caramel Bliss foot mask here as well. Nice, not necessary. I'll do a review on them later on in the post. I also really recommend the ONYX nail polish removers. It gets the old polish off fast.

Now it's time to prepare your tools:

When you're choosing a nail shape, it's important to remember a few things. Dark colors work best with short, round nails and light colors- you can do whatever you want really. Also keep in mind that round nails tend to break less often than square nails. Do whatever works with you.

So time to file the nails. I choose to go short and round because I was using a darker nail color:

I'm not a very picky girl and use a top coat as my base coat. I find it works well enough in preventing nail stains and works pretty well as a base. After that I applied two coats of color. If you find yourself needing to apply more than two coats to get the same color as in the bottle, try a different brand. The one you're using is probably cheap and takes more energy than it's worth.

I also sprayed after each layer with the ONYX nail dryer and I found it really reduced the amount of time that I spent waiting for my nails to dry. PLUS it smells like baby powder. No more bad chemical smell.

So this is the color in the bottle:

This is how it turned out on my nails:

So, all it took was a base coat, two layers of color, and a top coat. This normally lasts me around 6-7 days before it starts chipping and I have to redo them.

Caramel Bliss Foot Mask
This is a foot mask I bought from Pier1. It's from the Caramel Bliss line from Toe Toppers and retails around $20 CAD. It's basically a clay mask for the feet. It smells like caramel and really makes your feet soft. It makes your feet look a bit ashy when you put it on, and be careful not to get it on your floor before it dries, but I really like it. For the price, I wouldn't buy it again though.
4/5 stars

ONYX Professional Nail Dryer
I love, love, love this. I picked it up at Wal-mart (sorry small businesses) for about $3 CAD. It cuts my drying time in half and the baby powder scent makes polishing my nails much more pleasant. I would recommend you get this. Great product, great price.
5/5 Stars

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Welcome to my blog!!

Hi everybody!!

Welcome to my blog. I'm a girl who loves make-up, fashion, and all things beauty related. Even though I find it fun to alter my outsides with make-up, I truly believe that beauty inner beauty shines brightest and that being a good person trumps having a straight nose any day.

I know it's annoying when you follow somebody's blog and they kind of disappear on you for months at a time. I will try my best to write posts weekly if not several times a week. Just realize that as a university student, I do have finals, assignments, etc that take priority. My blog is mainly geared at beauty, but I will occasionally include others points of interest.

I'm not a make-up artist or certified in any field of the beauty business. I'm just here to share my passion with you.

I believe that beauty is an art and that each person will have a different way of expressing themselves. It's about having fun on your journey to discovering what fits you. The reason I'm starting this blog is to document my journey and document what works (and doesn't!) for me. Hopefully from my experiences, you will take some ideas that you can incorporate into your routine.

So let's get to it!

I recently bought some make-up brushes online. They came in a pack of 24. It's great to have so many brushes, but I'm finding that the travel cases they come in are no longer working for me. It's time to find my brushes a new home.

Here's a picture of my make-up brushes before:

As you can tell, it's difficult to sort through this when I'm trying to do a simple makeup look in the morning. So my solution was to make a make-up brush holder.

All I needed was:

A cute container, some sand, and a few decorative stones. This container was courtesy of my wonderful sister (Thank you!! It's perfect, you know me so well!!).

I filled my container 3/4 of the way full so it would leave me some room to add the decorative stones on top.

Here's what it looked like:

Then I added my make-up brushes and the decorative stones:

I am a person who is very attracted to color, so the stones really added oomph to my brush holders for me. But if you're a more conservative person, I would just leave it at the sand.

And here's my final product: