Monday, November 4, 2013

Day 4 - Birthday Month - Return to the Gym

Oooh, Imma get ya'll.  You guys sat right there and let me drink that coffee, me thinking it was decaf and it was regular!  I didn't go to sleep until after midnight & then overslept this morning!  Aye de me!  Lesson learned!

I really didn't do anything particularly special for my birthday month celebration today.  I worked & volunteered teaching Citizen Schools sharing with middle schoolers how to brand themselves....a very important lesson in the urban community.

Then I went to the gym.  Yes! After over 4 months, I crossed the threshold of O2 Fitness again!  I didn't go too hard.  I did a 30 minute alternating jog/walk on the treadmill & then finished off with 80 squats.

Squat challenge update - 80 squats

I thought I would share the variations that I'm using with my squats.

These first 4 days I have split my squats between squat raises with the exercise ball & body weight squats.  At the gym I also used the squat machine to finish out my 80 today.  I'll change up the type of squats after my rest day tomorrow.

My 2013 Fall/Winter Protective Style - Full Sew In (Selecting the Hair)

Tailgating at NC Central's Homecoming

You may or may not remember but my last professional style was for my birthday last year (November 2012) , when my stylist, Taji, created this amazing soft updo look for my my birthday and UNC Homecoming weekend.

Since then, other than going in for my regular trims, I have been styling my hair.  Needless to say, I And  my hair was in need for a break.  I decided it was time for another sew in.

I definitely wanted a curly look with virgin human hair so it could be reused.  I did not want to have to invest a whole lot into the hair.  One of my friends told me about buying human hair wholesale and so I checked out  On there I found a store called "wiginchina".  I bought from this company for several reasons:
1. They had 641 transactions which meant to me they had been in business for a while.
2. They were categorized as a top merchant on dhgate.  This is their highest ranking.  
3.  They had 94.4% positive rating.  I read some of their ratings and they were about the quality of the hair and so I decided to buy.

Order:  100% Brazilian curly virgin hair in lengths, (2) 12", (1) 14", and (2) 16"
Shipping:  Quick.  I ordered on a Friday and received the hair on the following Wednesday.
Bundles.  The bundles were packaged in clear plastic sleeves with the lengths marked & each bundle had a thin mesh netting around it.

Here are pictures of the hair before it had been washed. All I did was run my fingers through the 16' bundle so you could see the difference when the hair had been frizzed out some verses how it comes packaged.  You can see here that the hair is a "natural brown" color.  You can also see how curly the ends are.

Then I co-washed the hair.  I used Tressemme Natural's Conditioner & detangled with a wide tooth comb & hung the hair to dry.

After co-washing

See how curly the ends are?  Gorgeous!

The next two pictures are showing the length of a the 16" bundle.  The track was longer on the 12 inch bundles and decreased as the length of the hair increased.  You can also see the density of the hair here as well.

Hair Hanging to Dry

Showing Length of the hair

My stylist used all 4 bundles of the hair in my sew in, creating a very full install. She left a little bit of my hair out so I could do a center part and an invisible part to the left of my crown in case I wanted to do an natural fall to the right.  You can see my center part here.  I have 2 strand twisted my leave out in the front.  The first picture shows the hair with no styling product.   Where I'm pointing on the left shows the side misted with water and styling mousse applied.  The 2nd shows it after the whole head had been completed.


 I will share what products I am using on this hair as well as provide a preliminary review of the hair in my next update post.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

My Birthday Month - Day 3 - An Extra Hour, French Vanilla Cafe, & Being Tall Does Not Define Me

 Daylight savings time ended last night/this morning at 2 am.  And my eyes popped open bright and early at 6:30 am as the sun streamed directly on my face.  Whaa...?  Oh well, I was awake.  I caught up on a DVR'ed show and was ON TIME for church!  Yay!!  (I usually tip  strut in during praise & worship).  I was NOT going to be late for church when we had a whole extra 60 minutes this morning.  I guess the extra hour boosted my energy levels because I was super productive today.  I blogged, bought groceries for the week, walked the dog, cooked dinner & lunch for 3 days this week and got my 70 squats in!  My personal treat for myself today was the Maxwell House International Cafe' French Vanilla. I hadn't had this in a while and thought it would be perfect for these cool fall nights.  I enjoyed a cup while I watched Black Girls Rock! tonight on BET.  Yum!  And yes, I rep UNC all day, everyday.  I even have a Carolina tumbler on my desk at work that I drink my water out of.

Random topic that sorta goes with being a Black Girl who Rocks....I had an interesting interaction with an associate last night.  She remarked that she was amazed that I'm a girly-girl.  She said that with me being 6'1, I'm the only  tall girl she knows that's not a baller but truly a girly-girl.  She said she was trying to "figure me out".  It sorta struck me as odd because, I'm no tnow nor have I ever been an athlete.  While I love watching sports, I am the epitome of a very feminine tall woman.  Competitive - yes.  Strong personality - absolutely.  Soft, tender, emotional, girly, classy, eloquent woman - you better believe it.  What's hard to figure out about that?  #shouldershrug  The comment was posed in a slightly negative way...that there was something wrong with me being tall AND girly. Like I wasn't living up to my potential. For a moment, I started trying to share all the ways that I'm not girly.  I watch, understand, and commentate sports.  I love action films.  I have tons of male friends.  I can throw a football....WAIT!  Hold the line.  I am girly.  I love lavender & hot pink, flowers, beautifying myself, 4 inch heels and clutches.  I sashe' when I walk, giggle, cry over romantic films, and sing all my favorite songs.  I also love all of the Fast & Furious series, UNC basketball, Dallas Cowboys football, and now baseball.  I listen to games on the car radio, call to debate the games with my dad every Sunday, & would rather sit with the guys than the girls at Superbowl parties.  Nothing makes my day more than playing with my godson AND I walk the halls of the company I work for with a power walk that rivals Olivia Pope.  DON'T box me in!   My being tall is a direct result of a 6'7 man (my father) and a 5'9 woman (my mother) loving each other. Being tall does not define who I am or what I should be no more than my dark brown eyes do.  I am a woman.  I have a right to define me the way I choose to be seen by the world.  #dropsmicasIstepoffsoapbox

Ok, Day 3 of the squat challenge.  My quads are burning and my gluts are on Fiya!!! - 70 squats today.

I thought I would give my starting measurements so I can do a before & after at the end of the month.

Before shot - 11/3/2013 (after 2 days of squats)

39 inches around my derriere
22 inches around my left thigh
22.5 inches around my right thigh

Saturday, November 2, 2013

My Birthday Month - Day 2 - Adventures in Thrifting!

So for my day 2 celebration, I went thrift shopping with one of the ladies from work and some of her young family members.  Her young cousin just graduated from college & needed some outfits that would be appropriate for work so my help was enlisted to show them what little I know about thifting.  While they were shopping I scored 3 cool items.

This blazer that I plan to wear with some jeans or black slacks for a casual dinner out.  I already owned the tank that picked up that pink/lavender color.  Lesson 1:   Good to be aware of what pieces you already have in your closet when thrift shopping!

These corduroy pants.  Funny story.  I'm tall right?  So the pants are a little short and they were too big.  I try everything on when thrifting. While waiting for the dressing room an older lady walked up to me and said, "Those pants are nice."  I said, "Thanks!"  Then she looked at her friend and said "Am I larger than her?"  Her friend nodded affirmative.  Then the lady looks at me and says, "Do you think you can fit them?"  I said, "I sure hope so.  If not, I'll take the to the tailor and have them altered."  She replied, "Don't do that honey.  If they don't fit, just give the to me to try on, ok?"  I just smiled.  The pants have at least a 1.5 inch hem that I can have removed and I'm having the seat taken in a bit.  Sorry lady, but these pants are mine!!   Lesson 2:  When you get the clothes for a bargain, don't be afraid to invest in alterations to get that perfect fit!

This Tahari dress was a perfect fit!  I just love the detailing around the collar.  The only thing missing was the belt.  Guess what I had in my closet?  Yep, the perfect belt.   Lesson 3:  Don't let a missing piece or 2 keep you from getting a nice article of clothing.

The young college grads finished their shopping in our first location before we did and went to grab something to eat.  They said they would be back.  A little while later my coworked said she got a call that they weren't coming back.  One of the girls had spent too much money and didn't want to continue to ride around while her cousin shopped.  Lesson 3:  Establish your budget before you leave home.  It's great to get things at a discount but you still can't afford to go shopping if your bills aren't paid.  It's also a lesson learned that it's sometimes good to ride it alone.  Who wants to have their plans ruined by a person who rode with you that doesn't want to tag along anymore?

It was a fun day and it also encouraged me to finally clean out the last little section of my closet that I had started organizing earlier this year.  Woo hoo!

Squat challenge update:  Today's goal is 60 squats.  I broke this up into 3 parts.  I completed a set of 20 this morning and a set since I've been back from shopping.  I'll do my last set of 20 before bed.  Getting tight & right!

Ohhh & hats off to my UNC Tarheels for beating our in state Tobacco Road rivals, the NC State Wolfpack!

It's November AND My Birthday Month!

Today is November 2nd and it's 5 days til my birthday!  Taking a cue from my bestie,  I plan to celebrate all month, giving myself little treats along the way. Some will be big,  others not so much, but all will be significant to ME in some way.  Feel to make suggestions!   Why is this birthday significant?   Well they ALL are because God has blessed me with yet another year of life.  But specifically this is my 39th year.  I understand at 40 you are grown grown for real so I want to make this birthday a memorable one! I'm not going to promise to blog everyday, but I will keep you updated on all my birthday month celebrations.   Also check me out on Instagram at NaturallyNitaNC for real-time pictures!

November 1

I had planned to go an area football game but it rained buckets.  Sooo, I ended up givivng myself the gift of rest.  LOL.  I went to sleep early to sweet sounds of rain on my window.  What joy!  I also started a 30 squat challenge & completed 50 quats.  Whew!  So I am giving myself the gift of a round derriere this month too!  LOL.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Recap: Black Girls Run! Sweat with Your Sole Event! September 8th! Charlotte, NC

So for those of you who followed my couple of postings about my Journey to 10K you know that in July and August I was training for a 10K race to support my best friend.  It was a great hurdle for me because I previously did not enjoy running.  After learning how to pace myself, I rather enjoyed the challenge of seeing how far I could go without stopping.  As we approached the time of the race, Christina informed me that she wasn't prepared for a 10K (neither was I) and we could do the 5K.  Whew! Hooray! Since I had been training for a while, I felt way more prepared for the 5K than the 10K.  I got excited.  I went down to Charlotte on Saturday to spend some time relaxing and to mentally prepare for the race.  While down there I also had some time to visit one of the local jazz restaurants downtown, Deltas.  The food and the setting was amazing. There was a live jazz band playing and I ran into Nicole, one of Christina's cousins, who I remember meeting when she was a young girl.  She has grown into a beautiful young lady!

Me & Nicole!
Me standing in front of Delta's 
My pre-race dinner.  Probably not an appropriate choice but it was so delish!

The morning of the race we were up early but I was super excited.  There were SO MANY WOMEN there, excited about exercising!  Christina and I walked to the 5K line and took a few pictures and stretched prepping for the race.  I was so proud of myself.  I ran way more than I walked.  I would have to say that I probably ran over 1/2 of the 3.1 miles.  The thing I was not expecting was the hills.  I'd trained on flat courses so that was a shocker.  We've already been told if we plan to go to Atlanta next year for the race, the course is even hillier. As I approached the finish line there were those who had finished ahead of us who had come back down the last 1/4 mile of the course to cheer us on!  The supportive environment was amazing.  As I waiting and watched for my best friend to come I watched & encouraged other ladies towards the finish line.  I got so emotional seeing women with strollers, golden women, and even one lady in a wheelchair finish the race.  What an amazing accomplishment!  When I saw my bestie coming I jumped back on the course & finished with her.  Of all the races she'd done, she always said she never had friends or family waiting at the finish line for her so it was important to me that we finished together. And this time she had both!  Her mom & dad were at the finish line too!  Overall it was a great event.  I felt great right after the race, but needless to say as the day progressed, my 38 year old body started to let me know that I had done the most that day...LOL!  I will definitely plan to keep running as a part of my cardio regimen and plan to run another 5K or maybe a 10K in the future!  To your health on our journey to 100!

My bestie cheerfully greeting a friend from Cali

Us before the race

After the race with my metal!  Success!

Just a snapshot of a few of the women

My official results

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Do You Remember The Time? A Walk Down Memory Lane

I was listening to Lenny Williams sing the song "Cause You Know I Love You" the other day & when he sung one of the verses, I chuckled because I thought, young people today couldn't even relate to that.

Here is the verse:

**It seems that I call her on the phone and I, I just can't get her to answer
And then I went to her house and I saw a car parked in the driveway
I knocked on the door, but still my knocks went unanswered
And then I went home and I, I watched television until television went off **

Do you guys remember when television straight went went OFF?  Like at midnight either God Bless America or America the Beautiful would play and a big American flag would wave across the screen and the next thing you knew, there was static.  Television went off back in the day! 

It made me think, what things did I experience as a young person would the youth of today, not know anything about?

Here are some things that came to mind:

  • When things were paid for with cash or check only.  And if you had a credit card it wasn't swiped.  An imprint was made.
  • A rotary phone
  • A phone without call waiting or caller ID
  • When play time meant being outside all day 
  • Carebears, Monchhichi's, Tom & Jerry, Popeye the Sailor man, Looney Tunes on Saturday morning
  • When the majority of cable programming included sitcoms and there were no reality shows
  • Life before the internet
  • Researching a paper meant going to the library and searching through the encyclopedia (either World Book or Brittanica) 
  • When the choices for gas were regular & unleaded
  • When movies were $5 at night, no stadium seating, and no 3D features
  • There was no microwave.  If you wanted to reheat something you either put it on a tin pan in the oven, or you heated up the whole dish.  And everyone thought the microwave would give you cancer.
  • Before cell phones were affordable, a 2 way pager was the way young people stayed in contact & you came up with secret codes so the recipient knew what you meant, and before those days if you didn't call someone, you wrote LETTERS and MAILED THEM!
  • When you had to wait 3 days for photographs to be developed at your local drug store.
  • No Walmart & Target!
  • Or life before malls!  Stores like JCPenney, Hudson Belk, and Thalheimer were in the downtown area and that's where people went to shop.   
These are some things that came to mind today just from my generation.  LOL!  What are some things that you know the generation of today would not remember from when YOU were young??

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Service Review: 4 Paws Dog Sitting

I don't often talk about my dog on this blog but my most loyal companion is my 8 lb long haired chihuahua, Princess.  She's not your usual small dog.  Sure, in her mind she thinks she is bigger than any other pooch and let's all of them know when we're walking along but she's different than most.  She's about 9 years old and rarely barks.  The only way you will know she's in the house most times is when you hear her collar hitting the food dish or her little feet periodically following you around the house.  And that's not all the time, just when she wakes up and realizes "Hey, she's not in here with me!"  My schedule can be crazy busy but she rarely misbehaves.  She just waits for me by the door to welcome home or in her luxury bed for a tummy rub.  She's the perfect pet for me.

Recently, I had to take a short trip out of town and I decided to look into hiring a dog sitter.  I'd never used a professional dog sitter before, I'd either boarded her (which I hate to do) or she's stayed with family for longer trips.  Recently, I decided to look for another option so that I wouldn't inconvenience anyone or have to board her.

In steps, 4 Paws Dog Sitting.  Though, I've only used them once so far, I love this service.  Cherie is the dog sitter assigned to my area.  She came out for a consultation and met Princess.  She joined us on a walk and I showed her where everything was (food, leashes, poop bags, and Princess' hiding places).  She & Princess hit it off and I left for my trip knowing that Princess would be in good hands.

When I returned, Princess was well fed, rested, and not anxious as she has been in the past when boarded.  Cherie had left me progress report so that I knew what they did on both days & a welcome home card. She even brought in my mail! I will certainly use this service again.  Cherie will be my the dog sitter assigned to Princess so I won't have to introduce her to someone new.  It's reassuring that this service is not only reliable and professional, but that Princess can stay in her own environment and be well taken care of.  If you live in the Raleigh, NC area I would highly recommend !

How do you handle traveling and taking care of your favorite pooch?  Would you use a dog sitter?

Disclaimer: I was not compensated for doing this review and received no exchange of services for a positive review.  I am sharing my experience simply to help others.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Journey to 100: Day 2 of Path to 10K

So my friend Lateshia & I went out for the 2nd day of my path to 10K.  After a brief debate about whether we needed to run or not today (She reminded me that only I was doing this 10K business, lol.  Gotta love my friend's bluntness!)  but I convinced her to run with me!  Two points for the power of persuasion.  Guess what?  Today's walk/run wasn't nearly as bad as the first!  I think a major contributor was that it was only about 73 degrees when we went out today.  Perfect for outdoor exercise!  We got a great stride going and it seemed to be much easier.  We even ran up a couple of inclines today!  We decided that we are going back at 7 am in the morning!

I felt so good when I got home that I did 60 wall squats and 40 second plank.  Ahh, time to hit the shower now and wind it down for the rest of the evening.

In honor of our getting back on track here is a little theme music for today's walk/run:

My Coil Out Results - 2.5 Years Natural

Before - Finger Coils

After - Coil Out

Yesterday morning I decided to uncoil my hair.  If you follow me on Instagram, I posted that my coils were getting a little frizzy and my roots were puffing a little after a college move in day + 100 degree heat whew.  Since my hair was coiled very tightly all the way to the ends, I misted my ends with water to reactivate the gel and create a little slip & coated my hands with coconut oil as I pulled the coils apart.  It results in fuller coily hair with lots of movement.  I have a little frizz but I like that effect.  Here are a few shots of my final results!  I love it!

If you've never done a coil out check out this video below.  She made her coils a lot larger than mine but you will see the technique used to uncoil the hair.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Happy International Left Handers Day!

Wait, before all you right handed people click off this post, just hold on!  This day is important to ME!  Why?  Because I live in a right handed world.  Did you know only 10% of people worldwide are left handed?  In fact, my mother, father and brother are all right handed.  I'm the only one in my immediate family!  People actually tried to get people to convince my mom to "make" me right handed by tying my left hand behind my back as a child.  Thank goodness she didn't, I love being left handed!  It makes me unique!

Though I am left handed, by preference, because we life in a right handed world, I do some things with my right hand.  I use a right handed mouse, I iron with my right hand, & I throw a football (tales of a former tomboy) with my right hand.  I eat and write with my left hand of course, I drive with my left hand, and I pick up the dribble (again former tomboy) with my left hand.  Interestingly enough, when salsa dancing, I spin better on my left foot than on my right.

There are quite a few famous left handers.  Former Presidents Reagan, George HW Bush, Clinton, and our current President Barack Obama are lefties.  Michealangelo, Prince William, Oprah, Julia Roberts, and Sarah Jessica Parker, all southpaws.  Numerous sports figures favor the left hand such as Bill Russell, Digger Phelps, Bill Walton, Barry Bonsds, Reggie Jackson & David Justice (a former crush).  A new close friend of mine is also left handed (*wink*).  Looks like I'm in good company!

If this world were are the things that I would change in favor of left handed people:
1.  spiral notebooks!  They would all be bound at the top!
2.  school desks!  They would have the hinge on the left side only.
3.  Turning left on red would be permissible.  (I know the driving rules don't allow for this now but wouldn't it be nice?)
4.  Both sides of restaurant booths would be open so I wouldn't bump into the wall when trying to eat if I'm sitting on the inside of the booth.
5. Scissors would be better designed for the left hand (the prime reason why I don't trim my own hair).

So if you know a leftie today celebrate them today!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Revisiting Comb Coils on My Natural Hair

After advising Christyn to try out finger coils on her hair and seeing the below video, I really wanted to try coils on my hair again.

This time I made a few modifications to who I styled my coils.  I did as the video suggested and kept my hair soaking wet & soaked with gel.  The difference was instead of using my fingers, I used a rattail comb to style my coils.  In the past, my roots were never coiled tightly enough and would puff up before I wanted. I used my Koils by Nature Herbal Styling Gel on freshly shampooed and conditioned hair.  I used Giovanni Direct Leave In for my leave in conditioner and sealed with organic coconut oil.  This style took about 5 hours to complete.  I did the front half of my hair on Friday night and styled the 2nd half of my hair Saturday morning. I maintain the style by sleeping on my silk pillowcase and just shaking my hair to loosen the curls.  

Check out my finished results!
Aug 2013 on medium length hair


Flash back pics from my previous attempts at coils.  I think this is my best set yet!

Sept 2012 on mid length afro

Sept 2012 on mid-length afro

Feb 2010 on TWA

Feb 2010 on TWA

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...