Friday, January 16, 2015

#Fitness Friday | Time to Get Back Into Shape

Getting and staying in shape for me has been a constant struggle. I can get on the workout wagon and even start to see some results, but,..somewhere...somehow...something always to throw me off.  Back in 2012 I was super proud of where I had come. I had joined boot camps, worked out on my own, ran my first (and last) 8K race. I had even achieved a personal goal of being able to do pullups/chin-ups.  Starting out, I couldn't even do ONE! I was slimming down and gaining strength. Now three years and 20+ pounds later, I am so eager to get back where I was.

It's been a slow start but I've been trying to get active and am hoping that joining the Fitness Friday linkup will help me get back and stay on track.

Since the start of the year I started off with a goal of doing daily planks which are great for promoting core strength.  I got the idea from one of my coworkers who had joined a Planking Challenge on Facebook.  I thought,that sounded like a pretty cool idea.  The challenge that she mentions starts out with holding the pose for maybe 20 seconds the first couple of days and then gradually increases the time each day.  I've set my calendar on my phone for a daily reminder to do planks for 30 to 60 seconds each day for this month. I haven'd done them every day, but just about every other day.  If you have tried planking you know that they are not easy. I start shaking around 20 to 30 seconds. LOL

Fitness Friday

This Week's Accomplishments

On Monday this week, I decided to step up my game and tried out a 24 minute cardio workout that I found On Demand.  I had originally planned to go to the gym, but it was so cold and rainy, I just decided to stay in and workout.  This workout involved a lot of squats and lunges. She definitely kicked my butt on that one.

Tuesday, my sister and I did a couple of dance workout videos on Demand.  Definitely got our hearts pumping and we had a blast laughing at each others moves. LOL! We also tried a 15 minute core fitness video that involved several variations on planking. I think this was a bit too advanced for us right now, but I surely plan to get up to par on those moves!

On Wednesday, it was time to hit the gym, even though I was tempted not to go due to the cold weather.  I spent about 20 minutes on the Stair Master.  It doesn't seem like you're moving to fast on these things but it definitely gets your heart pumping.  After cardio, my sister I did a few of the upper body weight machines.  The shoulder press is one of my least favorites but I tackled it head on.

We planned to work out today as well, but instead we ended up grocery shopping to prepare something healthy for dinner. My sis prepared a delcious stir fry with turkey sausage. It was yummy!

I'm finally starting to feel back on my game and am super pumped about my progress this week!  I am determined to keep this up and get back to where I once was.

How are you working to achieve your fitness goals? 
Join the Fitness Friday Link-Up(click on that handy dandy badge abaove) and let's get motivated together!

See you there!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Product Review | Shea Moisture Raw Shea Butter Deep Treatment Masque

Shea Moisture Raw Shea Butter Deep Treatment Masque

$11.99 for 12 oz jar at Sally's Beauty Supply

Deionized water, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter)*, Argan Oil, Vegetable Glycerin, Emulsifying Wax, Sea Kelp Extract, Panthenol (Vitamin B-5),Essential Oil Blend, Avacado Oil, Lonicera Caprifolium (Honeysuckle) Flower (and) Lonicera Japonica (Japanese honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Hyssopus Officinalis Extract, Salvia Officinalis (sage) Leaf and Equisetum Arvense Extract, Soybean Oil, Daucus Carota Sativa (Carrot) Seed Oil

SheaMoisture's Raw Shea Butter Deep Treatment Masque deeply moisturizes and repairs dry, damaged or over-processed hair. An all-natural intensive treatment perfect for transitioning chemically treated hair to healthy natural hair.

My Experience:

I had heard mixed reviews regarded this product, but I was still eager to try it out.   I like that it contains all natural ingredients.  It has a light creamy texture and the scent is delightful.  I would describe it as a clean, fresh kind of scent.  I definitely had high hopes for this product.

My first use of this product was as a deep conditioner after shampooing my hair.  On my first use, my hair definitely felt dried out and stiff. I was definitely not pleased with the results I got.  It had absolutely no slip at all, which is a no go for me.

It sat on my shelf for several months until just a couple of months ago. I don't like to waste product, so I decided to try it as a pre-poo just to use it up. Upon reading the label I noticed that it suggests mixing the masque with Extra Virgin Olive Oil for additional nutrients and moisture, so I decided to give it a try.  My hair felt amazingly moisturized and the EVOO definitely added the slip factor that I needed. #Winning

After my successful use of this product mixed with the EVOO as a prepoo I decided to try it out again as a final deep conditioner mixed with EVOO.  I was running low so I also added in some JBCO into the mixture to increase the amount of product and thicken it up.  This time around I did not have that moisturizing slip factor that I experienced when used as a pre-poo.  But this could possibly be due to the Jamaican Black Castor Oil. 

This product claims to moisturize as well as repair dry, damaged, and over-processed hair.  This typically means that the product contains protein, so this needs to be taken into consideration as far as how the product performs.  My hair is not protein sensitive. I  would describe it as normal, so too much protein for me is not good.  This could explain the drying and stiffness that I had experienced when I used this product alone. I'm not sure if I had done a protein treatment just before that, but that could have had an effect.  Mixing the product with JBCO could also be the reason why I did not have a good experience on my final use of the product because JBCO also contains protein.

I got about 4 uses out of this jar.  I used it once as is, twice as a pre-poo mixed with EVOO, and once with EVOO and JBCO.  I will note that I am pretty heavy handed with my conditioners.  I have not tried this product as a leave-in, but I've seen other reviews that suggest that this is a great leave-in product.

Final Thoughts

I don't like that this product is missing the slip factor; especially with the amount of new growth I have.  I prefer deep conditioners that don't require mixing, but I don't mind adding the Extra Virgin Olive Oil for that moisture boost and added slip.  All in all, I do not hate this product as much as I did on the first use.  I thought I would never go near it again, but I would probably buy it again and only use it when I am in need of a protein boost.  If your hair is protein sensitive, this product may not work for you.

Have you tried the Shea Moisture Deep Treatment Masque? How did you like it? Have you found it to work well as a leave-in? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Thanks for reading!

Wash Day|More Experimenting with Tea Rinsing

In my last wash day post, I introduced tea rinsing back into the mix.  After noticing the reduced shedding, I knew that tea rinsing was here to stay.  I'm still trying to find ways to make it work within my regiment, however. I don't care for the drying stiff feeling that I usually get, so I've been playing around with my mix.  See below for the tea concoction that I used this time around. You'll notice that I used the same products as before with an extra addition....coconut oil!

Let's Get Into My Wash Day Experience....

1.  I'm not even sure if I should call this a prepoo. I applied Silk Dreams Wheat Germ Butter Conditioner on Sunday evening and detangled my hair with every intention of washing that night, but was getting pretty late. Knowing how long it takes me to wash and blow dry, I knew I didn't have it in me. So in a bun my hair went. It wasn't until Tuesday night that I actually washed my hair. So I had a nice 2 day prepoo. My hair felt so moisturized.  

2. Shampooed with the last bit of ORS Creamy Aloe Shampoo diluted in an applicator bottle. I get so excited when I empty product, because I know I have way too much (even after giving my mom several bottles of shampoo). LOL

3. I then applied my tea rinse mixture. This time I steeped only one tea bag instead of two and I added coconut oil to the mix.  My hair did not feel dried out or stripped. I really thought I was on to something with this mix.

4. After rinsing,, I deep conditioned under my heat cap with Shea Moisture Manuka Honey & Mafura Oil Intensive Hydration Hair Masque.

5. After t-shirt drying for a few minutes I applied my leave-ins which were Annabelle's Moisturizing Leave in Conditioner in the Vanilla Bean scent (My Giveaway win from Relaxed Thairapy. as well as Annabelle's Hair Creme in Birthday Cake Scent) and GVP Smoothing Serum.

I used the tension method to blow dry my hair on cool/luke warm temp. My hair seemed to dry faster than usual and felt a bit dry. I'm not quite sure what caused this. I think I should have sealed with a different product. I don't think I've ever used the GVP Smoothing Serum alone as a sealant when blow drying.  I also noticed that the bits of slippery elm and marshmallow root that seeped through the strainer were still in my hair and flying out as I blow dried, which was frustrating. I didn't notice this on my last wash because I used curlformers.  So now I have to go back to the drawing board with my tea mix.

I decided to just keep it simple and rock my usual bun.  I love low maintenance styles. 

All in all, it was a decent wash day. I've most definitely had worse. If you haven't heard any relaxer talk form me, then it must have been a good one. LOL

So how was your wash day? Head on over to Saving Our Strands or Just Grow Already and share your wash day post in the #WashDayExperience Link Up.


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