Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Philosophical Mornings: Clean & Reflect

As my last blog post of 2013, im trying to hurry up and write so i can eat and finish cleaning my room before i head out with the Missus Mocha tonight. In my house its tradition to clean everything, and i mean everything for the new year. We get rid of old clothes, do laundry, clean from top to bottom, and burn it (frankinscence and myrrh... its a carribean thing) So right now moms is at the laundry washing the last loads and im cleaning the last thing in the house that needs to be cleaned.... my room.

For those of you that dont know me too well, my room is an organized mess. But a mess nonetheless and it never stays clean past a few days, a week at most. I get lazy busy, and i just dont see the point when im just a messy person in MY contained area. Ill keep everywhere else neat and tidy but my room kinda reflects the clutter of my mind i guess.

And here we'll talk about reflections...

So looking back on 2013, there were a lot of ups and downs in my love life, mostly downs and 'wtf's am i still doing with him when i should really let him go?'. With work i was as easily frustrated especially with that one woman 'This Bitch" that i am so glad to be getting away from come february. i was worried with school and doing the work of others.

ASOM didnt really have a good year but we're changing that in 2014 and already having vending spots coming up. We also learned to really look at the demographics for our line when choosing vending events Also from last nights events and speaking with Imani of Tribe Called Curl, she invited the team out to speak at their next event =) And apparel line coming in the Spring!

Hair wise, ive tried a lot of new products and found my staples in Mixed Chicks, Alikay Naturals, and Shea Moisture. Dont get me wrong everything else ive tried was awesome too Luscious Locks, Cantu, CB Smoothe, Ori Essentials, Edens Body Works, Wonder Curl,  Nubian heritage, Miss Jessie's (just the gel) but the first 3 really stuck out to me and i will continuously use them. I am so gad i started protective styling. I kinda missed the change in my features with longer, unruly hair but i love my fro hence why these styles will never last more than 6 weeks at most. I am also glad i finally colored my hair. That was something ive been wanting to do for the longest and even though it took forever, im glad that i did it with Shea Moisture which was the safest option for a natural to coloring their hair at this point in time.

Body wise, i finally gained weight. Im trying to get back to 130 as i was in high school when i ran. Even if it was more muscle than fat back then im trying to get back to that weight. 135 at the most. Its just that ive been stuck at 120-125 since junior high school, the same thing with height. I just want that one thing to change so that the only thing im working on. Health wise im good, aside from my small issue on my ovary with the hematoma. That burn i suffered from with the Black Soap and ACV has long since been taken care of. Which im happy about. i dont really care for my facial features but that made me really self conscious.

School wise, im so hoping to get into Hunters School of Social Work. I really need to get back to my grind with getting my masters. So im working on that as well. i just need my recommendations (joy). Purpose wise. I know what i want to do in life and im taking the steps towards that. I just know that in the end i want to open my own youth center.

My state of mind this year, has not been clear, but neither has my life been either. It was indecisive and stagnant. It was stuck really. But now i made a list of everything ive wanted to try as was the first philosophical mornings post and this year will be the slow start of making my way down the list.

I hope everyone takes the time to sit back at some point today and reflect on the year. I dont mean to look for all the changes but the really big ones, like letting people go, new experiences, new friends, finding out your goals/your purpose, etc.

DO it while you clean lol...

Happy New Years Eve!
A.Soul

Monday, December 30, 2013

Natural Hair & New Years Events...

Hey all, just wanted to et you all know of this weeks events pour moi.

So tonight ill headed over to Kinks & Drinks even by Tribe Called Curl (a last minute thing or i would've told you all before, sorry!) - CLOSED!



Tuesday, Ill be out with @MochaNapps for News Year Eve celebration at 123 Burger, Shot, Beer (love this place!).. and then ill be back there on Thursday for a 'date' with the Nephew (a bit nervous about that one). For all those in the area looking for something to do for new years, just call and add your name to the list! =)

New Year's Eve

And Friday ill be heading over to a Locs Revolution event by my girl Niyya. This is a free event.



Been a while since ive been this busy in a week, lol.My pockets may be light but ill be enjoying myself as much as i can! Hope everyone has a wonderful new years and parties hard!

A.Soul

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Should i or Should i not?...

yes or no    
\
So there's a guy right and hes really good looking, has very nice eyes, full lips, a hot body, very chill and laid back, fun to tease, fun to hang out with, easy to laugh with, family oriented, buys me lunch, getting me a book i want for a late xmas gift...

and hes attracted to me as well...

the only thing is he's by supervisor/boss' nephew and that's kind of holding us both back from doing anything. he says shes over-protective and thinks it a bit inappropriate which is why he hasn't done anything. i agree that its a tad bit inappropriate but hey shit happens and i'm not gonna be working there much longer (thank jeezus!). 

and its not like i honestly care either way cause i wasn't going to act on anything to begin with no matter how much i wanted to just bite his lip sometimes. 

but it looks like the start of something with the way he was texting me last night the bigger question is do i really want to and what about Josh. i mean i know i'm cutting him off, since it pretty much has to be done. the only thing that is holding me to him is lingering feelings but other than that, not much else. 

le sigh, giving someone up is never easy. but if it must be done. then take the steps towards it.

Guess i'll give Nephew a try...

A.Soul

Friday, December 27, 2013

Unexpected News.. But Not Completely

A bit of TMI but i need to get this out...

So since about my sophomore year of my undergrad, i noticed that during sex in certain positions left me feeling a pain in my insides, mostly around the areas of my ovaries more on the left than right side. Some times it would be intense other times it would just be uncomfortable. All i know is that i stopped using certain positions during sex (unfortunately) after a while and i wasn't bothered as much anymore.

Now i get pains in my ovaries that last for a few days to a week at a time. I get pre-M cramps that start about 2-3 weeks before it actually happens. And there have been a few times where the pain was so intense that i'd have to take pain meds or days off work to handle it. I remember the worst cramping in my life that had me on the floor of my bathroom crying so hard. My brother had to stay home form school to take care of me. All i know is this year alone made me think of taking birth control to decrease my periods simply because they have been getting worse all year. And i'm not a fan of anything that messes with my hormones. At all.



So i finally went to the doctors how many years later. for them to schedule me a pelvic sonogram. For those of you that dont know its topical (1st video) as if they were doing a regular sonogram and then a long stemmed camera is inserted into your vagina where they can look directly at the ovaries. (very invasive/2nd video).

I was not thrilled with the fact that they lady had asked me if i was still on my period (which ended the week before) since she asked about bleeding or the fact that she shook her head, in a way that indicated she didn't like what she saw. Did not build up the 'comfortable' mood i was feeling right then.

I went to my doc yesterday fro them to confirm what was wrong and it turns out that i have an enlarged, bruised left ovary. and it has a hematoma/blood pockets on it. Of course i went out and googled it since i wanted a more in depth explanation despite the fact i have a GYN appt. that will explain more. What i learned is that hematomas of the ovaries are common but not that common, but they are pretty much blood cysts (a phrase i wasn't comfortable with) and that i may need surgery in the end. I will need pain medication (a prescription i just filled) and pain can get worse as i've already experienced. Also it can complicate any pregnancies that can occur (yea like i'm getting pregnant any time soon).

I already new something was wrong down there, but i wasn't expecting this. Hematomas of the ovaries in females are not exactly common, im assuming since i cant find many research articles on it, but it does happen. (Ive seen it under the term ovarian apoplexy as well for more info)  I just want to know how the hell it happened really. And reading up on the symptoms and treatments and consequences for prolonging treatment is overwhelming and i wish i took care of it sooner.

Will update on the progress,
A.Soul

Monday, December 23, 2013

Holiday Giveaways

Now i know, giveaways are just ugh... you enter - you don't win- repeat. But there are those occasions where you do get a little something, you know that one random thing that you didnt expect. Well currently im taking a part in a few giveaways this month. Mostly natural hair products and a few make-up/ health products. I figured im bound to get something if i tweet about them everyday and enter as much as i can or at least interested in.

So here's the list so far.

fab4holiday-header-600pixels
Love Brown Sugar 'FAb4Holiday' Giveway: Just about everyday LBS is posting something new in the FAb4Holiday giveaway. So far ive entered for a few natural hair products, from shea moisture, nubian heritage, and nothing but. Ive also entered for a few makeup supplies/accessories (like a clarisonic!) and a lady foot locker gift card. Yesterday she put up a JustFab giveaway for a clutch, shoes, and something else that i forgot but yea go look for yourself.
Check it out Here

QRedew Review
ToBNatural 'QRedew' Giveaway: Now I've heard good reviews about this hair steamer. And everyone loves it. So i figured why not enter for a chance to give it a try and see for myself just how goo it really is. Cause you know there is no way that im spending $70 on just a single product (cue side eye). I seriously don't even like spending $40 on a single pair of jeans, lol. But any way check it out Toia is a good friend of mine and an awesome natural-/fashionista.
Click Here


Blogger/Vlogger 'Fab5 Holiday Collab' Giveaway: Here you have to subscribe and like to each vloggers youtube page and leave a comment answering a question that they put in their description boxes. Each vlogger is offering different full sized products or hair supplies in their video. You're going to have to watch each video and see for yourself which one you would like.
Click Here for the Curls & Mo video.

Holiday Gift Bag
Wonder Curl 'End of Year' Giveaway: As you can see in the picture you will be getting a mix of wondercurl prodcuts with amazing botanicals and some random thing that they didnt give the name of. But yeah. I won a previous giveway from WonderCurl and i really like their products. Especially the betonite claydetoxifying hair mask.
Click Here


MissFabEllis 'Pantene truly Natural' Giveaway: All 9 products posted in the photo are included in the giveway.
Click Here

CurlKit $500 Gift card Giveaway Click here Well more like click on the link in my twitter status lol. So click on my link and enter your email and first name and you know share it on other social networking sites and the more people that click on the links the more entries you get for the giveaway.


TGIN Insatagram Giveaway *Closed* It was for a complete set of the TGIN line. Again never tried it but heard goo things.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Semesters End, Hospitalization, Moving & ASOM Designs Sale

Hey guys, been a while since my last post! but im good you know, finished up my semester and that was no easy feat. My friend and her friend were paying me to do their online coursework this semester, and here i was thinking that oh thats fine just a bit of reading and a paper.

NOPE!

their prof asked for a style (daffuq is Chicago Style) i never hard of and on top of that it was a writing intensive course meaning that there was way more work than i originally thought. so yea i missed some of the deadlines and their grades were lower than expected/. Honestly i felt bad. but it just wasn't my semester.

But hey, it all worked out in the end and they were able to put th work in (even if it was late).

So i busted my balls (figuratively) getting the work done for that class. And for my own research paper (luckily it was all group work) on top of setting aside time to finish these workshops for my new job!

yea you heard me a new job (dont know if i posted about it before but OH WELL) im getting the hell out of Hunter (aside from grad school in the future ::fingers crossed::) So its been a busy couple of months for me.

And i was hospitalized this week for a stomach virus and missed two days of work (unfortunately including the office holiday party ::tear all that good food!::) but im better now, lost a few pounds and my stomach is till a bit queasy but im not purging anymore thank goodness!. But there is a nasty stomach bug going around. Just so you know. Honestly not a good feeling.

And i might be moving once again.. joy. My childhood has a lot of moves in it, hopefully one day, this family will become stagnant and one day own its own home. For now we are enjoyin the renters life (note sarcasm)


Anywho, check out the sale ASOM Designs, for all orders $20+ get 14% off (Use Code: XMNY14, ends Jan 4, 2014), $30+ is free shipping



Monday, December 9, 2013

Knowing When to Let Go

just venting for a bit...

I was going to save this title as another philosophical mornings post but after this last thing with 'him' i felt that it needed to be done,

i spoke on feeling like being avoided from him before, i spoke on letting him go before, i spoke of the stages that i went through, i even spoke on how hard it was to go through these stages, and i spoke on how things were over the year when i started things back up with him.

Have i spoke to him about leaving him before.. yes
did i lay out the underlying causes.. no
did he say he would stop me from leaving and come after me.. yes
am i feeling that now.. absolutely not

We've had our moments and they were great moments but im feeling like after that whole define what you think love is (choice or undeniabl feeling.. the first philosophical mornings post) I think he felt some type of way and ive been left in the dark as to what. I know he doesnt love me per se (im not that blinded by my own heart to see what isnt there), and maybe there is someone out there he does want but wont admit it to. But i know that those kind of feelings arent for me.

What i do know is that things are majorly awkward between us (or i could just be imagining it). For ex: I sign onto FB while hes on, he signs off a few seconds later.. NEGRO I DONT WANT TO TALK TO YOU... SHEESH!



Look im focused on me and doing what i have to do with my life right now. I have fuck buddies to replace him. I just wont let myself get attached. He was the only on that ive gotten so attached to in a long time. and while i love the jerk wholeheartedly, i know when to cut my losses and stop stretching shit out.

and right now is that moment.

I will not be entering the new year with 'his' baggage and i would like it if we came to a mutual parting.

Sigh, thats a conversation im not looking forward to.

A.Soul
#mattersoftheheart

Philosophical Mornings: Get Checked

I'm not a health nut or anything, i'm prone to forget a doctors/dentist appointment... or hold them off til i cant take the pain anymore. But after a phone call from an ex of mine (the jerk), I had made my first appointment with my GYN about 3 years ago when he accused my person of giving him an STD... needless to say that conversation didn't pan out well 

-___-

Any who, got myself checked found out yes i did have... blah blah blah.. all curable with a pill, i'm clean. But ever since then i've taken sexual education./protection more carefully... and partners as well. 

I'm saying this because i have a pelvic sonogram appointment today for them to tell me if i have cysts on my ovaries or not. My cycle of late has me experiencing more painful menstrual cramps than ever and my pre-cycle cramps are getting worse. My left ovary has a mind of its own when releasing the egg (that's whats its called that premenstrual pain) and before it was unnoticeable now it leaves me wondering if my period is coming sooner rather than days later cause it just hurts that bad.

There's that and then there's the pain in certain positions during sex... how i miss those positions. I didn't matter size or girth or the guy... just that the pain outweighed the pleasure in my favorite position -__- joy

So i brought it up to a friends girlfriend and she told me that i might have cysts (this was a couple months before i found out about the std) and i didn't get it checked since then. I should it would have save me a lot of unnecessary pain (as i write this i feel a throb in the area). Now how bad the cysts are will determine if i'm able to have children in the future. 

And as for my teeth.. my dentist says i have perfect teeth... they just dont know why the hell my wisdom teeth came up crooked pushing the teeth in front of it and cracking the others leaving me to get a root canal and over the summer having one pulled. and now the tooth that got the root canal has to gt scraped of decay cause its sensitive after they killed the nerve..... that was not a fun experience and i only got it halfway done (forgot about the second appt and im really paying for it now).

So i remind you all to get checked often.. get your physical, make sure your shots are up-to-date, make sure your clean of infections/diseases, speak to your doctor about any issues you have (like i want to see my gyn about birth control to see about these cramps an such)..just dont become a hypochondriac! and visit your dentist twice a year.. bad teeth are a turn off and does affect your health in the long run.

A.Soul
#mattersoftheheart

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Our Fallen Soldiers of Light

This past week, we have lost two 'soldiers of light' as i like to call them....

Paul Walker (9/12/73 - 11/30/13)


Nelson Mandela (7/18/18-12/5/13)
  

Each have their own pieces in our hearts and history. One changed it tremendously while the other was still making his mark. Each had great impacts on separate causes that meant much to them and those around them.

Nelson Mandela, rest his soul, had suffered greatly due to ailments in his old age and his passing though heart breaking to the Africa/Black community was time. He lived a long prosperous and eventful life and he literally changed history during his time. I am glad that his passing was an easy one.

Mr Walker on the other hand, left the world so abruptly that even my coworker (though she knows its true) does not want to accept that hes really gone. The thing that gets to me about his death other than the fact that he burned alive, and after the fast and furious movies died while speeding, was his age. Both he and mother turned 40 this year though about 2-3 months apart. He died at 40 (just 20 days after my moms birthday) and like me, he was one of 5 children and the oldest. its scary. And all i'm thinking about was i could lose my mother this young too and i pray that i have her for a few more years.

My condolences goes out to  both families. And Walkers family ask that instead of sending them cards/gifts send donations to Paul Walkers foundation, Reach Out World Wide (ROWW) supporting victims of the Phillipines typhoon

Philosophical Mornings: Give Thanks

Seems like this should have been done during thanksgiving, well nope it wasn't. Not for no special reason either i was just to busy to really sit down and consider what i was thankful for other than the generic- family friends, having a roof over head, food in my stomach and a good job.....

Yea, lets get started on that last one.

My job.. now for those of you that are new to reading my posts you know i have some issues with my workplace, specifically one woman and a lot of different aspects. Now I am a passive aggressive person and I let things slide cause im not one for confrontation. I will go so far as to ignore and just go about my business as usual, interacting when only absolutely necessary if our relationship requires it. Other than that you're cut off.

Now with this woman, any time i complain  vent about her i entitle the post 'This Bitch' i havent posted cause like i said, i ignore her, but... this bitch decided to take my standoffish approach to her to my supervisor (she aint name no names) but i knew she was talking about me. So i told my supervisor that i had no problems with her, we're in separate areas, the 'bitch' stays in the back and we only interact when necessary (like i have to give her forms or its time to set up/handle distribution)... in my head, i was listing off everything i didnt like about her, but did say it out loud.. absolutely not. the words that came out of my mouth were...

"So I'll be leaving soon"

Yep ya girl got herself a new job all thanks to her mama! I love my mother so much for this. You have no idea how much i  love my mother for this. The sub-para pool opened up in the DOE so with a recommendation form one of the principals she works for i was able to get in. And they fast tracked me. so whenever i finish my requirements ill be good, there is no waiting for a job at the end either. i have one ready. I am soooooooooooooooooo happy.

I am beyond thankful for my growth and experience from working with Hunter, no doubt, but that job had no room for growth and my supervisor even said that. She was happy for me and i was happy that i had them as my first job. It wasnt difficult and i didn't face any hug trials, but i learned.. more patience and tolerance, my own stressors, my release for stressors (gonna miss my central park lunch breaks!) and generally that being stuck in an office all day, having no real time off was not for me.

i am finally starting on my career path in youth counseling and i am on that road with my peers and i have my mother at my side to help me. My girl Krystal (in her last year of grad school - congrats) inspires me to hurry up and get the ball rolling on my grad degree. My girl Tiyanna (having finished her own degree at Hunter SSW) is like my mentor right now and wants to help me in any way i can if  when i get into the program. And the Purposefully Pretty team is helping me grow in my skills as a mentor. And i have so many people that wants to help in the business aspect of my jewelry (love all the advice btw).

And all of the experiences i gain will help in the long run when i finally decide to open my own youth development center/home. (its a youth development/community center/shelter for runaways/homeless)

So i am happy and ready to move on in the world! Wish me luck!

A.Soul
#mattersoftheheart

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

DIY Hair Care: Protein Treatment

Now, protein treatments are a must for all hair types, whether natural or straight, male or female... it must be done. Depending on your hair type there are heavy and light protein treatments.

For a light protein: i recommend: Organic Root Stimulator Replenishing Conditioner (light citrus scent, leaves hair manageable and soft, great slip, and an all time personal fave... costs about $6-8 for 12.25 oz or $12-14 for 33.8oz)

For a heavier protein: I usually make my own. . but so far (in terms of buying) I tried the

Now with my mayo mask, i changed it up this weekend. Instead of just mayo, egg, and oils, i added some extraness (yea i made it up) I put in some ACV (restore's hairs pH balance and great scalp cleanser) and Aloe Vera Gel (good for dry scalp/dandruff). The main reason being that my hair has been breaking a lot lately (i havent been treating it very well) and it needed a good balancing cleanser as well since i was putting in a protective style for the next month.

The Recipe:
  • 1/3-1/2 cup mayo (depends on how much hair you have)
  • 1 whole egg
  • 2 tbsp oils of choice (i recommend what ever oil mixture you use or a mix of evoo, rosemary, tea tree, peppermint
  • 2 capfuls of Bragg's ACV or if store brand (already distilled) use 1 oz
  • 1-2 oz of Aloe Vera Gel
This mix worked really great for my hair. I mixed it in my parkay mixing bowl (yea i reuse lol), had a semi thick consistency (need more mayo for thicker consist-), and used and applicator brush to apply to my hair. I recommend detanglign your hair beforehand. I did it with the mix and my head was so tender afterwards (like i said my hair was suffering from neglect i was all tangled up). 

My hair was so soft and manageable afterwards, had shine, my ends were loving it (jest needed a trim) and my scalp was clean. Everything a protein treatment needed. I followed with the Ori Essentials cleansing cowash and moisturizing conditioner (thumbs up)...LOC..style.

Product Review: TRUE Crazy Sexy Cool Curls Pre Poo



Yea i gots another one for ya!

Alright so this months CurlKit featured this new product from TRUE Crazy Sexy Cool Curls.. i have their curling souflee (mousse) from a curlkit last year i think.. never used it.. gave it to my mom.

But this time i gave their product a try.

Now i havent used a product line pre poo before, usually i would use something of my own making or a conditioner of choice. My all time fave pre poo's are Shea Moisture Anti Breakage Mask, Aloe Vera Gel (with water and oils) or and ACV rinse.



Now this pre poo was basically the same thing as the aloe vera mix that i would make with a few extr ingredients:
The pre poo bottle contains; water( which is great!), Aloe leaf juice, hydrogenated castor oil, grapeseed oil, macadamia seed oil, glycerin, Acrylates copolymer (hair fixative - low hazard to health; used in moderate proportions) , olive oil, sodium hydroxymethylglicinate (humectant), fragrance, mongongo kernel oil and argan oil.
I love the shape of the bottle.

**in my own aloe pre poo i wood normally take an ounce or two of aloe, combine it with my oils and use my fingers to grab and scoop it onto my scalp, massage it in and let it sit**



Now what i didn't like about this thing was that my hair felt so sticky after inital application. It went on nicely left my hair wet but then it turned really sticky It felt the same as if i was using honey in my hair.... or the curling custard (Kinky Curly)/curling souffle (Shea Moisture)... i figured it was the humectant. Or the fact that i had not washed my hair in two weeks which is something i never do often (1x week washer!), so it could have been the product buildup, eh

*My mom used it after me and she didn't feel any stickiness -_-*

As a pre poo, i guess it was alright, I usually use my pre poo to detangle and it had an ok slip to do so. MY scalp felt good afterwards and my hair did feel clean as well. I shampoo'd and DC'd as usually.

Would i recommend it.... eh, maybe. if you feel like its something you want to try.

Product Review: Alikay Naturals, LLC. Essential 17 Hair Growth Oil


 Ok, so i killed that oil mixture with peppermint!



Essential 17 Hair Growth
A Blend of 17 Essential Oils and herbs proven to promote hair growth and healthy scalp. Our research shows that each of these ingredients promotes hair growth and health. Emu Oil has been proven to prevent hair loss and regrow hair. This Product is 100% Natural and 100% Organic This ingredient combination is AMAZING! My hair growth has flourished using this product. For my hair testimonial visit our website. Directions: Shake bottle well and apply oil to scalp. Massage into scalp well to stimulate your scalp and warm the oil. Massage also allows hair shaft and pores to open and soak in the essential oils nourishment. For best results use daily, drink enough water, and combine with proper diet and exercise. Key Ingredients: Emu Oil, Rosemary Oil, Organic Olive Oil, Jojoba Oil, Sweet Almond Oil, Horsetail Powder, Peppermint Oil, Herbal and Botanical Blend No Petroleum, No Mineral Oil , No Alcohol, No Paraben, No Sulfate, No Silicones PRODUCT DOES CONTAIN NUT BASED OILS (via Alikay Naturals website)

If you didnt read my long review on the products i tried about 2 weeks ago: The honey sage deep conditioner (great moisturizing deep treatment) had left my hair smelling like the original pine sol after applying it to my hair. I was not sure why or how it even got to that scent when it had a light sweet but musky scent in the jar.

I had followed with the Lemongrass Leave-In (love!) and the hair growth oil. When i say that pine sol scent got stronger and stronger each time i went to oil my scalp and hair.. i was becoming disgusted buy the scent and lets face it.. original pine sol does NOT smell good.

So about halfway or 3/4 of the way through oiling my hair i finally opened the growth oil bottle and took a big whiff of the oils in there. When i say that scent was strong... it made me a bit nauseous sniffing it. So after using it all over.. yes i know im a glutton for punishment.. i looked around YouTube and such for other reviews on the product to see if any experienced the same thing i did.

Again like i stated in my last post form what i read/watched for those that received it in last months CurlKit, they also experienced the 'rancid' pine sol scent, as they called it. For those that bought it directly from the website it had a more peppermint scent to it. Why that is, i have no idea.

I also came across a few testimonials where it caused extreme shedding for some people. Which is why i was a bit worried aft using the product. Even though, the product says that it contains no minerals, parabens, sulfates, alcohols doesnt mean that its always true and my strong reasoning behind them putting the ingredients of their herbal and botanical blend.

But other than that, i was able to salvage the scent of the oil.. now ill be smelling like peppermints all day...

I also added a few more drops of rosemary, jojoba, sweet almond, castor, horsetail and a bit of tea tree oil (The culprit!!!!!!.. they added to much tea tree {maleluca} oil) to the mix. The aforementioned oils were already in the bottle so i saw no more harm in adding more.

Other than that i dont know what to say about the oils... it was good on my hair, as for growht i waont really know much in the week or so since i last used it. But if you want a good oil mix this is it. Especially since it states on the label that use of this oil combined with a good diet, exercise and water will aid in hair growth. Which is so true. Other than that buy the oils and make your own mix. Which i personally think is better.

***Eventually i just added it to my own oil mixture like i said i was using all the oils there already except for Eucalyptus.. that i dont use. I even added some nettle, burdock, and saw palmetto to it (more growth oils)***

Philosophical Mornings: Give Back

Ok so this post is a little late in the making.. like i wrote it on my tablet and forgot to post it from last week kind of late.. but who cares its on now! lol

So last week i had taken the opportunity to participate in two volunteer activities for New York Cares. For those of you that don't know, New York Cares is a large non-profit organization that sole purpose is volunteering within the community/across the world. You do an orientation either online or in person and from then on pick which activities fits you. They range from dealing with young children (tutoring, arts and crafts, community cleanup, etc) to senior citizens to special needs to beautifying certain parks/areas. They have more well know activities like soup kitchens, coat drives, toy drives, and such.

So last Tuesday, I was at a center for the blind called VISIONS i was with a group called creative expressions and there we were doing arts and crafts with the visually challenged/impaired. And it was so much fun. When i got there, i was a bit late since i ended up on the east side and it was over on the West, so i had to wait a bit for more people to come in. the room was small but had many projects and supplies in there. I was paired with a lovely older woman named Shannon, she was heavily visually impaired but not completely blind. She runs her own meetup group at the center under the name Moonpie and i was called moonpie so many times that night. She was so sweet and it was great working with her. i helped her decorate two drawstring bags that she was going to give away as Christmas presents to her friends. I felt good after spending time with her.

And friday (the day after thanksgiving) i joined my friend Marcy at the Queens Library for Teens in Far Rockaway. There we were setting up Christmas decorations at the center. We were a large group and, there were many volunteers from NYCares and the center itself. Also as the students came in they were separated into each of the groups that were there to help out with each window display. We were given food and interacted with the teens making conversation, asking them about their interests, answering questions that they asked us. It was a good experience.

All in all, this post was to show that it pays to give back. Whether its something small or big, you'll feel good afterwards. I sure did. And im sorry that it took me so long to start volunteering since i did my orientation over the summer.

Find the time to give back, donate, volunteer, lend a shoulder/ear to someone who needs it. Or even seek help if you're the one that needs it.

-A.Soul
#mattersoftheheart

Monday, November 25, 2013

Philosophical Mornings: Try Something New

Hey all, so i've been thinking for a while of my plans for my 25th birthday and my main thing is to go to a gun range. Why? you ask, well why the hell not and i think it would be cool to learn. not as a from of protection, not trying to look tough, not to be liscenced in carrying a weapon.. but all for the sake of trying something different. Of going outside my own box. of venturing outside my norm.

There are so many things i want to try and i want people to do it with me. I want others to experience that elation of trying something that we've never done beofre. Something that maybe one day crossed our minds but never really gave it any thought.

So i put together a list:
  • Gun Range
  • Archery
  • Guitar
  • Rock Climbing
  • Knitting/Crotchet
  • Learn to swim
  • Balloon Ride
  • Ziplining
  • Bungee Jumping
  • Skydiving
  • Roadtrip through all 50 States (eventually)
  • See auroras lights
  • Try food from all over the world (actually visiting other countries)
  • Travel to Australia, France, Ireland
  • Go to Jamaica (visit fam)
  • Go go-karting
  • Ride a horse
  • Hike a mountain/go camping & see the stars
All these things and more are stuff that i want to try one year or many down the line. Call it a bucket list of sorts if you want. I've already looked in archery, gun range, guitar, and rock climbing and those are actually in one of the boroughs around me. And im happy to start some where. 

Its just feels like im stuck in the same routine day in and day out that my heart feels heavy. Well it feels heavy for so many other things really but nothing sparks excitement in me as it did before. And everyday something should spark a piece of happiness. At least i believe it to be that way.

I hope you guys start making your own list and get out there and experience the world.

KCB.
#mattersoftheheart

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Product Review: Alikay Naturals




Photo Credit: BlackOnyxWord

Hey all, so its time for another review and i could have sworn i did one on Alikay Naturals, LLC before but i guess not. So Alikay Naturals, LLC is a natural hair & body product line based in Florida, and smells heavenly. So far i have tried their lemongrass leave in conditioner (spritz), the honey sage deep treatment, the shea yogurt moisturiser, the creme brulee curl custard, and the essential 17 hair growth oil. (click on links to head over to the Alikay Naturals, LLC page for product information and price)

*review free of choice and products from my own money or my monthly curlkit subscription.. same thing*

PhotoCredit: CurlyandLovely
The first product i ever tried from them was the creme brulee curl custard, some time last year and it did wonders on my curls. They popped out gorgeously but i didnt like how my hair felt. It was a bit stiff and crunchy and my hair shrunk... a lot. Now this was in the stage of me still learning about my hair and what it likes. Also i dont think i used it in a way to really bring out the best of the product so i didnt write it off completely. I just saved it as something i would use as a later date. Especially since it smelled so heavenly. I think i spent more time sniffing it than actually wanting to use it in my hair lol



Photo Credit: AlikayNaturals




The second product i tried was the shea yogurt moisturizer. This was such a tiny sample that i only had enough to use on my ends only. At the time i was still working out a good moisturizing routine and shea butter worked great on my dry brittle ends, so i kept using it as such while i worked custards and cremes on my hair directly. Like i said my moisturizing routine was a work in progress and i had not discovered the LOC method yet. But my hair did like wjat the shea yogurt did i just wished i had a bigger size to see how my hair would really take to it.
Photo Credit: BlackOnyxWorld

Now, since the takeover last month for my CurlKit subscription, the only product i used was the lemongrass leave in.i used this product almost everyday while i had my marley hair loc extensions in. And yes the spritz did leave my hair smelling like lemons but it was a sweet scent that i could take any day. I continued using my own oil mixture for the duration of the time i had my twist in and kept spraying my hair with the spritz. It was lightweight and i really didnt have to worry about any product buildup since it was not heavy or a cream leave in. This stayed in my bag and continues to do so. Im making it stretch by adding water to it.


Photocredit: MyCurlyMane
Over the weekend i used the honey sage deep conditioner, the essential 17 hair growth oil, and the shea yogurt moisturizer. The honey sage conditioner had a thick but airy consistency, like it was whipped and and  a bit grainy. It went on my hair nicely and provided a good slip for my to finger detangle/comb my hair. The scent... hmmm... well in the bottle it was light but a bit musky, on my hair im sitting in the chair wondering why am i smelling pine sol... not not the lemon scent but the original, you know the amber liquid looking on. I was not happy. Im guessing it was the sage since honey does not smell that way to me in my hair. I love they way my hair felt afterwards -soft, moisturized, lush. The only thing is the smell... that pine sol smell, lingered... joy.


PhotoCredit: MyNaturalHaven
I sprayed the leave in, used the oil (i really like that it came in a mini applicator style... tube bottle with screw applicator top) and i realized the scent was stronger. Sniffing the oil mixture i knew why... seriously that pine sol scent was so strong.  my brother says it smells like Dettol (if your Caribbean you know what it is!) so it wasn't the deep conditioner but the oil. I went back to smell and compare the two, the conditioner and the oil. And i really do like the lightweight sweet but musky scent of the honey sage i dont know why it smelt liked pine sol in my hair but the oils... despite how good it may claim to work it (first time user), I would not purchase it ever, simply because the one i got smelt like straight pine sol. Hey first impressions are important. I looked at other reviews of the oil and saw that again with those that got it from CurlKit it smelt similar but purchased full size from website, it smelt like peppermint... hmmm.

Ill see if i can doctor it up with some peppermint. I think its the rosemary (never did like how that smelt on its own) and the emu oil (though i should smell it before i throw it under the bus). so i let you guys know later how it turned out after i 'fix' it. Other than the emu oil this is exactly like my own oil blend but my own smells so much better!!! So there really is no need for me to purchase this mix.

I would like to know what the rest of the ingredients are in the 'Herbal & Botanical blend' that they put on the labels. Also if they notice the double rosemary listed on the growth oil label. I'm not a stickler for these (just want to stay away from mineral oil, parabens, and sulfates... which it does) but you would think spell check and grammar would be put into use when mass producing something. also a complete listing of product for those that are product Nazis.. i mean what if there is something that someone is allergic to or gives a bad skin reaction?.. (you never know!)

So i have my hair twisted with the shea butter (will post pics tomorrow), i didnt use any gel like i normally would after the LOC method to lock everything in and give my extra hold. I wanted to see how my hair would react to all the Alikay Naturals, LLC products as is. Would i recommend, the stuff i used... absolutely. And if anyone can get over the scent of the essential 17 oil then by all means go for it. But like i said before not everyone experienced the same scent, just the one the takeover CurlKit from what i've heard online. If not then do like i do, buy the oils separately and make your own mix.

Heres a the store listing link for those that would like to find it somewhere other than online.

Enjoy.
A. Soul

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Poem: Dare by KC Burke

He hurts me without thinking, without knowing, without care
He kills my heart so slowly, bit by bit, its just not fair
He rids me of my feelings, my subconscious, its severe
He plagues in constant daydreams, wishful thinking, but he's not here
He strips of my senses, leaves me breathless, so unaware
He takes away my barriers, my sentinels, I am bare
My heart is in his hands, my own are empty, he doesn't share
My love is for the taking, will he take it...
Does he dare?
The answer lies in silence, will I ask it, will I risk it, will I chance it...
Do I dare?

KCB.

YTTP 2



Photo Source: Google; Sun Salutation Sequence


YTTP 2: or Yoga To The People.. is my go to yoga spot. Mostly because its a donation based yoga class (can you say free.99!) or $5 a class pending on te location. And the location i go to is of course the $5 place lol.


I try to go 2 days a week, Tuesdays and Thursday, after work. Tuesdays because of a flexibility class and Thursday because its a core yoga class.... and let me tell you this one thing about these classes.. they are fucking serious.

the flexibility class had me stretching in ways i never imagined (i really need to get back to it) and the core yoga class (omg i had a friend go with me and one pose we looked at each other like WTF!! lol) is the same but i really, really enjoy going to the core yoga class more.

these are power workout classes and i usually do a vinyasa flow class, just going through the positions at an easy pace and keeping a steady breath. i do yoga to clear my mind and get a good stretch/workout as well. Doorways to deeper practice is always good.

the schedule changes up and they usually post up thedaily, weekly, monthly schedule for everyone to see. Like i know next week, ill be going to a kriplau (vinyasa) flow class on tuesday and a maybe ill head to a dharma yoga class on friday given that its black friday. So like i said its always good to look up the schedule to see whats available. and which teachers will be there. the instructors are nice and hold conversation with you before and after classes and if you need help with anything they will gladly show you.

So if anyone is in the NYC are and ever near  Grammercy, check out the YTTP 2 studio on 23rd & 3rd. I guarantee you will not be disappointed. If $5 is too much for you, the St. Marks location is donation based. I hope to see you guys there one day