Tabata and HIIT Workouts

Sunday, November 30, 2014

tabata workout
Tabata Workout

Well, I need to restart my yoga challenge, lol. Once I got back to mom's Wednesday night, it's been lounge and lax city. I haven't done much of anything (even blogging), so I have to get back to my normal workout routine. So it's back to my Tabata and High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) workouts to ensure I get a good dose of cardio. So along with yoga, which I will do in the evenings, I have to incorporate at least 10 minutes of Tabata/HIIT workouts. So of course, I have already prepared some workouts for myself that will torch fat, build muscle, and get me back to my lean, mean self. Bring it on!

HIIT workout
HIIT Workout #1

HIIT workout
HIT Workout #2

Shampoo, Cleansing Conditioner, and Baking Soda: The Pros and Cons

I've been washing with a cleansing conditioner for over a month, and I think I can accurately compare shampoo, cleansing conditioner, and baking soda now. As much as I liked my baking soda wash, I am really happy with a cleansing conditioner. My natural hair is very shiny, and my curls have been very defined. The cleansing conditioner really preserves and enhances my natural curl pattern. But cleansing conditioners aren't without a headache. It is pretty difficult to find a cleansing conditioner (Walmart and Target are both a bit of a trek for me). So, I'm pretty much limited to what's online. Most brands are also on the expensive side. But all in all, I am pretty happy. But if you want to see a one to one comparison, check out the infographic below.

Never Expect Anything Until It Happens: Magnetic Rollers on Natural Hair

Monday, November 24, 2014

frobunni magnetic rollers on natural hair

Trying to sleep with magnetic hair rollers in my hair was a mistake last night. I wasn't exactly feeling well, and honestly, they're near impossible to sleep in. There was a lot of tossing and turning, and after an hour, I said "forget this," and starting pulling the curlers out of my hair. I put my hair in a bun, and went back to sleep. I figured it would look horrible in the morning, and I would just have to live with it. But surprise of all surprises, it looked amazing. I was quite thrilled. It actually ended up looking like a stretched two strand twist. Just goes to show you to never expect anything until it happens.

Yoga Challenge Starts This Week!

yoga bridge pose variation
Bridge variation, this is one of my favorite yoga poses

I've decided to do a week long yoga challenge. I don't have to do any extreme cardio or HIIT workouts, just yoga. Lately, my life has been very crazy, and the only thing that will reset it is going back to my old faithful. So what's challenge? It's only 30 minutes of yoga a day. I will make it easy for myself and do it in the mornings (lol, that's a challenge in and of itself). Hopefully, I will be back to my zen-ful self soon.

Favorite Pins of the Week

Sunday, November 23, 2014

So I decided not to move (see my posts on Apartment Apps and my decision to move). I love my apartment, and my job provides me with metro benefits, so I should just stay put, and get up early to get to work early, lol. With this in mind though, I have decided to re-decorate. I've wanted to finish up decorating my apartment for awhile, but I couldn't really see the point if I was moving. Well since I'm not, then why not! I'm getting ideas on Pinterest, so here are my pins of the week, home decorating style!

chair ikea hack
I saw this hack and loved it! I have this chair, and since I want to incorporate gold and texture, why not! 

home decor hanging lights
I love hanging lights. They give such a nice touch. I am unsure if I am going to incorporate them into my apartment or my office, but either way, I like how the lights frame this bed area.

home decor glitter and gold
Glitter and Gold! Those are the two things I will be incorporating into my apartment. I love glitter and I like it everywhere though I will have to make sure not to add to much or else it will look tacky. I want a more gossamer feel. 

creative way to organize shoes
My closet is going to be the hardest part to re-decorating because I will need to organize it in a way that allows it to expand (since I already know I will be buying more clothes, lol). I plan on moving my heels out of my closet and showcasing them in something like this.

headboard ideas
A heaboard will really change my apartment for the better. I've never had one before. I need something cheap, but one that also works with my apartment. These two ideas are my favorite (see, lights again, lol).

Natural Hair Gels and Curling Custards to try!

FroBunni | Natural Hair Gels and Curling Custards to Try

As you know, from my guar gum gel post, I don't use products with PVP or copolymer. They aren't good for my natural hair, and since I only co-wash, it could actually cause build up on my hair and scalp. With Black Friday and the Holiday season coming up, I'm thinking about trying some natural hair products, specifically, hair gels and custards. So of course, I made a list, lol, I will be picking some up this upcoming Friday. I can't wait!

[Edit: Since writing this blog post, my regimen has changed. For my most recent regimen, go to My Regimen.]

Aloe Vera Gel
Andalou Naturals BB Argan & Sweet Orange Styling Cream
Andalou Naturals BB Sunflower & Citrus Styling Gel
Beautiful Curls Shea Butter Curl Activating Cream
Beautiful Curls, Shea Butter Curl Activating Cream
Beautiful Curls, Shea Butter Curl Defining Gel
Camille Rose Naturals Curl Maker
Curly Kinks Coil Jam
Curly Kinks Curl Factor
Honey Love Loc
Innersense Organic Beauty I Create Hold
Kinky Curly Curling Custard
Maui Moisture Curl Quench + Coconut Oil Curl Smoothie
Original Moxie Just Gel Styling Concentrate
Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curling Gel Souffle
Suncoat Natural Styling Gel
The Jane Carter Solution Curl Defining Cream


Got a question or just want to say hi? You can connect with me on my social networks!
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I'm on Bloglovin!


I know a lot of people use Bloglovin to follow their favorite blogs (I just set up my account! I will finally remember that I have a ton of blogs to catch up on! Hooray!) so I decided to add the FroBunni on there, as well. Check it out!

Why I don't flat iron my hair and how to straighten natural hair with no heat

Friday, November 21, 2014

how to straighten natural hair with no heat

Not all naturals can flat iron their hair. This is a fact. The last time I flat ironed my hair, it was over 2 years ago. It was my "present" for reaching bra strap length. I washed my hair, stretched it with curlformers, applied my heat protectant, and flat ironed my hair on 200 degrees Fahrenheit. The result...severe heat damage. A few days after I flat ironed, I noticed 1 to 2 inch split ends going all the way up my hair. They were everywhere. Despite all of the prevention and protection I took to prevent heat damage, I still got it and there was no fixing it. I knew what I had to do. I spent most of that year trimming away the damage. It took me an entire year to reach waist length when it would've taken me only 9 months. I learned a valuable lesson that year. I cannot flat iron my natural hair, like forever. And I'm ok with that. It means that my hair can be healthy, and I can retain length. The healthy hair is much more important.

Of course, as I mentioned before, I love wearing my hair stretched and showing length. So if I wanted to get my hair somewhat straight with no heat, then I would have to think outside of the box. The result was a year worth of testing and thinking about ways to straighten my hair with absolutely no heat. This involved an email to curlformers to make straigthformers (they said they couldn't...be they are actually working on it) and an idea similar to the most recent failed attempted at CWK plates (I didn't have the desire to make more than a days worth of effort). Eventually, I figured it out. Take an old stretched hair style like a roller set, perm rod set, even a braid out, and low bun over night. The result is super stretched hair that gets almost fully straight. So, there it is. You can straighten your natural hair without heat.

29 Cleansing Conditioners and Co-Washes

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Herbal Essence Naked Cleansing Conditioner
Herbal Essence Naked Cleansing Conditioner is a really great, cheap cleansing conditioner that softens hair and helps to define curls. 

I've decided that I am going to start searching around for Cleansing Conditioners as my main method for cleansing my natural hair and scalp on wash day. I am already using Herbal Essence Cleansing Conditioner, and I have tried L'oreal EverCurl Cleansing Conditioner (I didn't like it at all, I turned it into a shaving cream). I put together a list of cleansing conditioners that I am interested in trying, and I am sharing it on my blog! Hope it helps!

Jane Carter Cleansing Conditioner
Herbal Essence Naked Cleansing Conditioner*
Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Co-Wash Cleansing Conditioner
As I Am Coconut Cowash Cleansing Conditioner
Eden Coconut Shea Cleansing Cows
Wen Cleansing Conditioner*
Nothing But Cleansing Conditioner Cowash
Carol's Daughter Hair Milk Co-Wash Cleansing Conditioner
Pantene Pro-V Truly Natural Co-Wash Cleansing Conditioner*
L'Oreal EverCurl Cleansing Conditioner*
Mizani Co-Wash Conditioning Cream
Ouidad Curl Co-Wash
Darcy's Botanicals Daily Cleansing Conditioner Cream
Hair One Olive Oil Cleansing Conditioner for Dry Hair
Curl Junkie Daily Fix Cleansing Conditioner
Curly Q's Curlie Cutie Cleansing Cream
Camille Rose Naturals Caramel Cowash*
JessiCurl Hair Cleansing Cream
Briogeo Be Gentle, Be Kind Co Wash
Nubian Heritage Indian Hemp & Tamanu Grow & Strengthen Moisturizing Co-Wash
Palmer's Olive Oil Formula Cleansing Conditioner
Renpure Solutions Cleansing Conditioner*
III Sisters of Nature Cleansing Conditioner with Coconut Milk*
Ossat Naturals Moisturizing Co-Wash
Dark and Lovely Au Natural Anti-Shrinkage Cleansing Conditioner A La Creme
Salon Grafix Healthy Hair Nutrition Conditioning Cleanser for Oily or Flat Hair*
Macadamia Flawless Cleansing Conditioner
Potent Jamican Black Castor Oil Pink Grapefruit Co-wash Cleansing Conditioner
Ojon Rare Blend Moisture-Rich Cleansing Conditioner

*They make more than one cleansing conditioner or cowash

Have another cleansing conditioner/cowash you think should be on the list. Send me an email at frobunni[at]gmail.com and let me know!

Dear FroBunni: How do I create a natural hair regimen?

FroBunni | How to create a natural hair regimen?

Dear FroBunni, I've been natural for a couple years now, but I've never actually put together a hair care regimen for myself. To be honest, I don't even know where to start.
Creating a regimen is actually pretty easy. The difficult part is tweaking it to fit your specific needs and finding hair products that work best for you, But for the sake of keeping this post on topic and for brevity, I will just focus on creating a regimen. 

Wash Day

A natural hair regimen has two main parts, wash day and daily maintenance. At the most basic level, a wash day will consist of washing and conditioning...of course, most naturals do more than this. Instead of using shampoos, some naturals will cowash, or use conditioners or a cleansing conditioner, to cleanse their hair (this is currently what I am doing with Herbal Essence Naked Cleansing Conditioner). After shampooing, conditioner follows (this step isn't necessary with cowashing). The amount of times you will wash will be up to you. I wash once a week, some naturals wash every other week, and other naturals wash once a month.

Ideally, on wash day you should detangle. There are many ways to detangle - you can use a wide tooth comb, a denman brush, or even your fingers. Make sure to be gentle, and it is easier to detangle with conditioner in your hair. I generally detangle with a denman, but if I am doing a wash n go, I will detangle with my fingers (it keeps my curls clumped and defined).

Deep conditioning is optional, but if you have issues retaining moisture, it is wise to do it once a week. Try to find a moisturizing deep conditioner, meaning it has little to no protein in it. You can also deep condition with a protein conditioner, like ApHogee, if your hair is brittle or breaking off. I deep condition with a moisturizing conditioner whenever I feel like it (I have no set schedule), and I use ApHogee 2 Minute Reconstructor once a month to strengthen my ends.

After all that, you will want to style your hair, but before you do, make sure to use a leave-in conditioner and seal with an oil or butter. The leave-in conditioner will give your hair added moisture and the oil or butter will seal it in. Below I listed some oils and butters that you can purchase from hair care companies, but you can also use oils and butters like olive oil, coconut oil, sweet almond oil, shea butter, aloe vera butter, sunflower oil, etc. Oh yeah, and this is important to note, oils and butters are not moisturizers. I see this all the time in natural hair groups and forums; the only way to moisturize your hair is with water (or aloe vera juice), so if water isn't the first or second ingredient in the ingredient list, then it won't moisturize your hair. Since oils and butters have NO water in them, they are not moisturizing. They seal, but they don't moisturize.

And finally, styling. Natural hair is not limiting, so feel free to experiment with anything. Wash n gos, braids, twists, flat twists, braid outs, bantu knots, twist outs, puff, perm rod sets, sponge roller sets, regular roller sets, blowouts. The list goes on and on.

Daily Maintenance

Ok, so wash day is done; now for daily maintenance. While wash day is very much up to the individual, daily maintenance is even more so. Most of the time, daily maintenance for me consists of moisturizing, sealing, and resetting my style every night (I am noticing that the Jane Carter Wrap and Roll extends the life of my roller sets an extra day, which is awesome), and in the morning, I take out whatever I put in my hair (braids, twists, rollers, etc.) and run some Giovanni Ultra Sleek Hair & Body Super Potion through my hair to prevent frizz. I do this because my hair needs to be moisturized daily and I can barely get second day hair.

For other naturals, my daily maintenance is too much. They will prep and set their style for wash day, and that's all. They'll wear a braid out or twist or blowout for the entire week, and pineapple their hair at night to preserve the hairstyle. For other naturals, they will moisturize, seal, and restyle their hair every 4 days. It really depends on the person, their time commitment to their hair, and what their hair needs.

So that's it. Fairly simple. Like I said, creating the regimen is simple, but it's finding the right products and techniques that will give you trouble. But again that's another post for another day.

Product List

I put together a product list of shampoos, cleansing conditioners, conditioners, deep conditioners, leave-ins, sealing butters and oils, and gels and creams to get you started on finding the perfect products for you!

Shampoo
Giovanni Smooth As Silk Deep Moisture Shampoo
Kinky Curly Come Clean
Herbal Essence Hydralicious De-Damage Boost
Original Moxie Get Clean! No-Foam Shampoo
Creme of Nature Kiwi & Citrus Moisturizing Shampoo

Cleansing Conditioner
Jane Carter Creamy Conditioner Cleanser
Herbal Essence Naked Cleansing Conditioner
Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Co-Wash Cleansing Conditioner
As I am Coconut Cowash Cleansing Conditioner
Eden Coconut Shea Cleansing Cowash

Conditioner
Giovanni Ultra-Moist Conditioner
Andalou Brilliant Shine Conditioner
Herbal Essence Long Term Relationship Conditioner
Organix Hydrating Macadamia Oil Conditioner
Bee Mine Avocado Cream Balance Conditioner

Deep Conditioner
Giovanni Ultra Moist Deep Deep Moisture Mask
Aussie 3-Minute Miracle Moist Deep Conditioning Treatment
Shea Moisture Raw Shea Butter Deep Treatment Masque
ApHogee Keratin 2 Minute Reconstructor
Bee Mine BEE-U-Ti-FUL Moisturizing Deep Conditioner

Leave-In
Giovanni Direct Leave-In Weightless Moisture Conditioner
Jane Carter Revitalizing Leave-In Conditioner
Kinky Curly Knot Today
Andalou Moisture Rich Leave-In Conditioner
Aunt Jackie's Curls and Coils Quench! Moisture Intense Leave-In Conditioner

Sealing Butters and Oils
Giovanni Ultra Sleek Hair & Body Super Potion
Jane Carter Hair Nourishing Serum
Original Moxie Hair Bling Hair Shine Pomade
Eden Coconut Shea Hair Oil
Organix Renewing Argan Oil of Morocco Penetrating Oil

Gels and Creams
Giovanni L.A. Natural Styling Gel
Jane Carter Curl Defining Cream
Kinky Curly Curling Custard
Camille Rose Naturals Curl Maker
Andalou Medium Hold Styling Gel

Ponytail Perm Rod Set on Natural Hair

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Ponytail Perm Rod Set on Natural Hair

On stretched hair, I put aloe Vera juice on my scalp, moisturized my hair with Giovanni Direct Leave-In, sealed with a mix of coconut and olive oil, and followed up with some Jane Carter Wrap and Roll. I made a ponytail and put 5 perm rods within the ponytail section. I did a total of 5 ponytails. In the morning, I undid each roller, took out the ponytail, and ran Giovanni Ultra Sleek Hair and Body Brazilian Keratin & Argan Oil through my hair. Voila!

What's To Eat This Week: Carbonara, Spanakopita, and Cobb Salad

This week, I decided to get all fancy and try some recipes that I've never done before. My mom used to make carbonara all the time minus the peas (both she and my brother don't really like peas, but I love peas). I wanted something pretty easy, so I found this 5 ingredient recipe and decided to just add peas at the end.

Last week, I was supposed to make this watercress salad with feta cheese. I made it once and didn't make it again, so I had a ton of feta cheese left over and wanted to get rid of it (since I let the watercress go bad). I saw this Spanakopita recipe and decided to give it a try. Growing up in Syracuse, I was actually able to try a lot of Greek cuisine because of the large Greek population, so even though I've never made Spanakopita, I was pretty familiar with it.

I also wanted a salad this week, but I wasn't sure what. I saw this Cobb Salad recipe and wanted to try it because of the fried chicken in the original recipe. I went to Whole Foods, and apparently they do not have pre-cooked fried chicken. So I just made it without the chicken. It's still very good, and with all the protein, it's not like I'm going to be hungry afterwards.

Carbonara

carbonara
Ingredients:
1 box of fettuccine
2 large eggs
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
4 slices bacon, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 pack of frozen peas, thawed
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Directions:
  1. Boil pasta, drain and set aside
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together eggs and Parmesan; set aside.
  3. Cook bacon, let cool and chop. Reserve excess fat.
  4. Saute minced garlic in the bacon fat. Add in pasta, bacon, and peas.
  5. Stir in pasta and egg mixture, and gently toss to combine; season with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Serve immediately
Adapted from Damn Delicious

Spanakopita

Spanakopita
Ingredients:
1/2 16 oz package of frozen Phyllo Dough
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 cup diced onion
1 10 oz package frozen spinach, thawed
4 garlic cloves
5 oz crumbled feta cheese
½ cup cottage cheese
Italian seasoning
Nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt.
1/4 cup butter, melted

Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray baking sheet with non-stick spray.
  2. Heat oil in a large skillet. Add diced onions and garlic. Cook until onions are translucent. Add spinach and cook until heated through. Remove and let cool slightly.
  3. In a bowl combine spinach mixture, cottage cheese, feta, Italian seasoning, nutmeg and salt (I just eyed the last three ingredients)
  4. To assemble tart, lay two phyllo sheets vertically on baking sheet. Brush with melted butter. Take two more phyllo sheets and turn them so that they are at the 11:00 and 5:00 positions. Continue to arrange phyllo sheets in a clockwork fashion. Butter the tops of each new pair of phyllo dough as you go. When all the sheets have been used, place spinach mixture in the center and spread out into a circle. Carefully fold each section of the phyllo over spinach mixture; butter each section as you go along.
  5. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until edges are golden and center is set.
Adapted from Lemons for Lulu

Cobb Salad

cobb salad
Ingredients:
2 heads of green lettuce, washed and torn into small pieces
6 strips crispy bacon, chopped
4 cups of cherry tomatoes
1.5 cups blue cheese crumbles
4 hard boiled eggs

For the Vinaigrette:
1 shallot, minced
2 teaspoons grainy mustard
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup red wine vinegar
salt and pepper to taste


Directions:
  1. Arrange lettuce at bottom of bowl, place tomatoes, bacon, blue cheese, and eggs on top of lettuce
  2. For the vinaigrette, in a food process, combine the shallot, mustard, and the oil and vinegar and the salt and pepper.
  3. Toss and serve immediately. Makes enough for 4-6 people.
Adapted from Heather Christo

ThredUp | Review

Thursday, November 13, 2014

thredup review
I love the J.Crew pants so much I decided to wear them today to work. Seriously, I look so professional! ThredUp is great for buying career clothes for women!

It's a very well known fact that I love fashion, clothes, and shopping. My closet is literally busting from the seams because I have no more room for clothes (I'm trying to cut down or give away what I'm not wearing...it's not working, lol). I've never really gone thrift shopping before, but I was watching the TheChicNatural on Youtube, and she did a review on ThredUp, an online thrift shopping website selling gently used clothes and accessories. I didn't think much about it until I got a new job (oh yeah, I got a new job). I wanted to look more professional than at my previous job, but also wanted to start buying more quality career clothes. I remembered ThredUp and decided to see what they had. 

To my surprise they had a lot of luxury designer items for literally 80-90% off. What does this mean for me? Well, it means I can fill my closet with a bunch of BCBGMAXAZRIA (one of my favorite designers) and not go broke in the process. I put over 20 items in my cart...and then deleted most of them, lol. I decided to keep my order small just in case my experience was negative. I bought 5 business pants - 4 pairs of BCBGMAXAZRIA pants and 1 pair of J.Crew pants. Everything only cost me $100, when it would've cost me almost $1000 if I bought it new and at retail price. I was really excited for my clothes to come...until I got an email and was notified that my order would take 10 days to arrive (this is much, much longer than other places I've ordered from). While this was frustrating, it honestly was the only downside. 

When I finally got my clothes, I immediately opened up the package and fell in love. The J.Crew and two of the BCBGMAXAZRIA were perfect. The other two BCBGMAXAZRIA pants wore like high water pants (which I hate), so I will return them (Note: some things can’t be returned, so take note when you order). I will definitely order from this company again, especially for more business clothes.

thredup review
This is the box the clothes came in. I liked that it was colorful!

thredup review
Everything is nicely packed and folded. 

thredup review
The ThredUp label was placed on each item. These are the J.Crew pants!

thredup review
Some items still have the original tags!

Roller Set on Natural Hair

roller set on natural hair
I decided to be really detailed with this picture tutorial!

For the next few weeks, I am going to test setting lotion, specifically Jane Carter Wrap and Roll, so check back for more natural hairstyle tutorials! 

I started on an old sponge roller set (you can start from any stretched hairstyle). I applied aloe vera juice to my scalp. I made 5 sections. I moisturized with Giovanni direct leave in, sealed with aloe butter (this is NOT the same as mixing aloe vera gel and shea butter), and applied Jane Carter wrap and roll. I finger detangled and detangled with a wide tooth comb to get the curls from the sponge roller set out. I gathered all the hair in the section and made a ponytail. I then put 4 rollers on the ponytail (the bottom two ponytails had 4 rollers, the middle two sections had 3, the top had 2 rollers). I moved through each section applying my products, detangling, making a ponytail and putting on rollers. I went to bed...this isn't the most comfortable to sleep in. If you have an airplane pillow, sleeping on this lifts your head allowing you to lie down more comfortably. In the morning, I took out the rollers and ponytail. I put some oil (coconut and olive oil) on my hands and smoothed the hair down. My roots at the very top were still a bit damp, so I made a low ponytail and I will take it out when it dries.

Dear FroBunni: I don't want to relax my hair, but it's difficult being natural

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Dear FroBunni, I've been natural for over a year now. I like it but it's getting thicker and more difficult to manage. I really don't want to, but I've been thinking about relaxing my hair. How do I make my hair more manageable so that I don't have to relax it? 

First thing is first, if you want to relax your hair, then do it. If your mind is made up, nothing I say can deter you from relaxing. Now that that's out of the way, I would stop looking at your hair as unmanageable. Your hair is very manageable. You will just need to change some of your techniques and products to better manage your natural hair. I've got a few tips and tricks that can help.
  1. Section hair: Out of all the tips I will give you, this is the biggest one. Start sectioning your hair. I don't do anything to my hair unless it is sectioned first. You may find that you need to make more or less sections depending on the thickness of your hair, but trust me, your hair becomes much more manageable when you start sectioning.
  2. Moisturize more often: Up your moisturizing game. Dry hair can get really frustrating to deal with and it isn't cooperative. If you haven't already done so, start moisturizing once or every other day. You're hair will become more manageable almost immediately.
  3. Take a break: Sometimes you just get so overwhelmed that you need to take a break from your hair, so consider a protective hairstyle. Protective hairstyles can include weaves, buns, two strand twists, etc., so your options are limitless and you don't have to use hair extensions. While your on a "hair vacation," think about if you really want to relax your hair or if you want to keep going with being natural. You will be able to make a better judgement call for yourself when you aren't stressed about styling your hair everyday.
  4. Find a natural hair stylist: I don't have the best opinion of hair stylists, but that is just me. You may want to stay natural, but don't really want to deal with your hair. Consider finding a reputable natural hair stylist to do your hair. This way, you won't have to deal with it (you may want to learn a few tips and tricks just in case your stylist isn't available, in the event of an emergency).
  5. Re-examine your natural hair regimen: What worked for you at a shorter length, may not work for you anymore. So consider switching out products and changing hair care techniques. At every length goal, I re-examine and reevaluate my regimen to determine what is working and what isn't. For example, I use to wash my hair in 8 two-strand twists. Washing with twists when I was armpit length helped me get to bra-strap length (BSL). But once I got to mid-back length, I noticed that my hair would become really tangled near the roots and caused breakage when I detangled. Hence, I stopped washing in two-strand twists, which minimized my breakage.
Hopefully these tips will help, but what if they don't? I would say just relax. If you're miserable and you feel like you've reached the end, just relax your hair. At the end of the day, you want to be happy. You can always come back to natural at a later point in time.

Got anymore tips to make natural hair more manageable. Let me know in the comments!

Two New Hair Care Products: Herbal Essence Naked Cleansing Conditioner and Jane Carter Solution Wrap and Roll

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Two New Hair Care Products: Herbal Essence Naked Cleansing Conditioner and Jane Carter Solution Wrap and Roll
Jane Carter Solution Wrap and Roll and Herbal Essence Naked Cleansing Conditioner

I don't want to do a review for these just yet, since I want to give them more than one test to see if my hair really likes it, but last week, I bought Herbal Essence Naked Cleansing Conditioner, and yesterday, I bought Jane Carter Solution Wrap and Roll.

When I was relaxed, and even into when I was natural, I loved Herbal Essence products. I had switched over to more natural products, and eventually fell in love with Giovanni, so I just stopped using them. I was aware of their Naked line, but since I had my staples, I never tried the shampoo or conditioner. But, since I am in the middle of trying to figure out the right cleansing method for my hair, I decided to buy the cleansing conditioner when I was in Target. I used it last week, and I noticed it left a tad bit of buildup on my scalp. I washed with it again this week, and didn't notice any buildup. The Cleansing Conditioner left my hair super soft and tangles just melted away, plus my hair felt both clean and moisturized. My curls were also super defined (and shampoo really does just ravage my curls, so I don't think I'm going to stick with it). I'm excited to see if this cleansing conditioner will really work for me in the long haul.

I've seen the Jane Carter Solution Wrap and Roll for the past 2 years and always wanted to try it. It has all natural ingredients and doesn't have PVP and copolymer. I was in a natural hair group on Facebook last night and Chigirlmakeup posted one of her videos. I had the opportunity to ask her a few questions about her perm rod sets. She uses setting lotion and little bit of gel to get her hair to stay curly for long periods of time, so I thought "what the heck," went out to Ulta and picked up the setting lotion. I've used setting lotion in the past, but never had some of my own (I used my mom's). It has a floral scent but it wasn't too overpowering (and hopefully I won't smell it when I take these sponge rollers out). I am hoping the setting lotion will allow me to keep my style for over a day or two (really hoping for a week because this hairstyle is very labor intensive, lol).

Hopefully these hair products will work for me!

Before and After: Cacao Foundation and Aloe Vera Gel Mascara

Before and After: Cacao Foundation and Aloe Vera Gel mascara and brow gel
Before and After: Cacao Foundation and Aloe Vera Gel mascara and brow gel

I've spoken on Cacao foundation before in my posts Cacao Powder Foundation Revisited and Need a more natural foundation? Try Cacao Powder and Rice Flourbut I wanted to do a better before and after (my most recent one wasn't the clearest). Plus, I added a new natural makeup product to my routine, aloe vera gel as mascara and a brow gel.

aloe vera gel mascara
AloeLife aloe vera gel in a mascara tube. It took me awhile to get the gel in there, lol

As I've said before, cacao powder is great to use as a natural makeup foundation, and works amazingly as a foundation for women with dark skin. It evens skin tone, while also fighting against wrinkles.

Aloe vera gel thickens and lengthens eyelashes and eyebrows. All I did is take some AloeLife aloe vera gel, bought an empty mascara tube, and put the gel in the mascara tube. I've noticed that my eyelashes have gotten longer since I started using it, which is great because they have been pretty short and thin in the past. If you already have a makeup routine, put some gel on your eyebrows and eyelashes at night before bed, you'll get the same results!

Before and After: Cacao Foundation and Aloe Vera Gel mascara and brow gel
Bonus Pic: First pic: No makeup; Second pic: Cacao foundation and aloe vera gel mascara/brow gel; Third pic: Winged eyeliner and NYX matte lip cream in Copenhagen. 

My 6 Favorite Workout DVDs

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Even though I love making my own workouts (Running HIIT Workout, The Best Shortest Workout, Workout of the Week), I still love using my workout DVDs. I have over 50 workout DVDs, that's more than I do movies and TV series combined (I know, it's crazy). Even though I use all of them, there are six that are my all time favorites! 


Personal Training with Jackie: Power Circuit Training
This is a great weight training DVD! I love it because you get 3 different workouts - 15 minute ab workout, 15 minute legs workout, 15 minute arms/ back workout. There's a 15 minute full body workout that includes abs, legs, and arms/ back, plus a 40 minute full body workout that includes all 3 circuits. So that's 5 workouts in total. The 15 minute fully body workout makes a great short workout in the morning during the work week. Plus, the 15 minute arms/ back workout is great for days when I only want to focus on my arms. 

ZCUT Power Cardio Series 3 DVD Set
This DVD got me into HIT workouts. You have 12 workouts, no more than 15 minutes long (most are between 10-12 minutes), and you will sweat and be completely exhausted when you finish. These are amazing cardio workouts and doing at least one a day, even if it's the only workout you do, will definitely help you lose weight. That's how intense they are!

10 Minute Solution: Butt Lift DVD
I've had this DVD for over a year and let me tell you, that HIIT Butt Lift workout is still one of the most intense workouts I've ever done, and I do it at least every other week, if not once a week. There are 6 workouts total on this DVD, five butt workouts and one ab workout. Each workout has very unique moves that tone, lift, and sculpt the butt (and abs for the ab workout) and all are only 10 minutes. You can also mix and match to create your own customized workout. 

Namaste Yoga: The Complete First Season DVD
I. Love. This. DVD. I recommend Namaste Yoga to everyone. I first saw it on TV and everything was perfect. The yoga practice, the scenery, the direction. It really is one of the most perfect yoga DVDs. It is a bit pricy, but it is worth it! And each yoga sequence is 25 minutes.

Yoga for Weight Loss DVD
What I love about this DVD is that you get 3 DVDs, with over 30 workouts, for only $20. Plus, you get very specialized workouts - strength, flexibility, legs, abs. And there are full yoga sequences (between 40-70 minutes). I do these workouts on my rest days and it really does help keep my stress down while still giving me an intense full body workout.

30 Day Shred DVD
I have over 10 Jillian Micahels DVDs and I keep coming back to this one. You get three workouts, each focusing on strength training, cardio, and abs, all in under 25 minutes. So if I am low on time, and can only do one workout for the day, this one is it!

Dear FroBunni: How can I make healthy meals quick?

Friday, November 7, 2014

One of my meals featured on my blog from a previous post - roasted curry salmon with carrots and green beans.

Dear FroBunni,
I am trying to get healthy; I am really good at the exercising part, but really bad at the clean eating part. I am really busy and don’t have a lot of time to prepare my meals every day, and I end up buying food from somewhere when I am out and about. Do you have any tips for making quick, fast meals?

This week I made roasted tilapia, kale, and tomatoes. Everything is in one pan and it took me only 30 minutes. 

Congrats on getting healthy! I know it can be hard, but you are taking steps in the right direction. Meal preps can be really easy, and the best tip I can give you is to cook everything in one pan or pot. My formula is “1 protein + 2 vegetables = a meal.” I add something like carrots and broccoli to a pan and season them with a little oil, salt, and pepper. Then I add my meat (I like to season it separately than with my veggies), put it on top of one of the veggies, and roast until cooked through. Depending on the size of your pan, this can give you your entire week’s worth of lunch, plus it takes no more than 30 minutes from start to finish. Mix up the veggies and meats and make two pans instead of one for both lunch and dinner.

Also, if you don’t have one, I would highly recommend investing in a crockpot. You can put all your ingredients in the crockpot, turn it on and after a few hours, you have a meal ready to eat. It doesn’t have to be just soups and stews either, so get creative.


Last tip, do all of this at the beginning of the week so that you don’t have to devote time to it during the rest of the week. I like to make everything on Saturday or Sunday. Oh, and proportion out your meal and put each one in easy to go containers. This way you don’t have to do it the day of and you can just grab it from the refrigerator.

9 Tips for Growing Long Natural Hair

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

9 Tips for Growing Long Natural Hair
My most recent length check. I am slowing passing waist length. My end goal is tailbone length.

My length journey started on the same day as my natural hair journey. While I wasn't sure if I would be able to grow my hair long, I knew that if I was able to take care of my natural hair as best as I can, the length wouldn't be a problem (to me, you can't have long hair without healthy hair). Throughout my journey, I have learned tips for growing long hair and getting it to its longest possible length.
  1. Don't wash with just shampoo: Even though I'm back to using shampoo, I still don't use only shampoo. I dilute it with water and aloe vera juice. I am still able to effectively cleanse my hair, but the aloe vera juice adds moisture into my hair, as well as prevents shedding. I've found that for me, using just shampoo, causes more damage to my hair than other cleansing methods such as baking soda or cowashing.
  2. Moisturize and seal daily: I have to moisturize and seal daily, and when I don’t, I can see and feel the difference in my hair. It is dull, dry, and the ends are breaking off. Even though this is inconvenient sometimes, especially when I am super tired, I know that it is imperative to the health of my hair.
  3. Do everything in sections: I first realized the importance of sectioning my hair around my 1.5 year natural. Washing, conditioning, detangling, and styling my hair as one whole was not only stressful, but it also caused a lot more breakage. Since then, whether I have two sections, four sections, or eight, I never attempted anything with my hair unless I section first.
  4. Add protein: This is new but necessary. I use a protein conditioner on my hair once a month focusing especially on my ends, which is the oldest and most fragile part of my hair. Since I started doing this, I've noticed that I have significantly less breakage and that my hair, in general, feels a lot stronger.
  5. Stick to what you know: This is the hardest tip for me, and unfortunately for me, it's one of the most important. Sometimes I try to deviate from methods that I know are perfect from my hair, only to be disappointed when it doesn't work...which generally means that I have to contend with breakage and a mini-trim to undo it.
  6. Leave single strand knots alone: Natural hair and single strand knots go together like frosting and cake, lol. Because our hair is so curly, it sometimes knots upon itself. Many people recommend cutting hair to keep them at bay. I don’t do that. So long as the knots aren’t causing damage to my hair, such as split ends or tangles, there is no reason to cut them out except for an aesthetic reason.
  7. Trim when necessary: I trim my hair once every 3-4 months. Because I take care of my hair really well and am gentle with my ends, I don’t get split ends that often, and there is no reason to trim your hair if you have no damage.
  8. Ignore people: I often get unsolicited hair care advice from my friends and family, and I have to put them on ignore. I know what works for my hair, I know what doesn’t. Often times, I get advice that works for that specific person, but wouldn’t work for me. Getting advice and using it is ok, but also know when to ignore the advice because it wouldn't benefit your hair.
  9. Have patience: This is biggest and most important piece of advice I have for growing long hair. The tried and true method to growing hair long is taking care of it and having patience. I don’t care how many hair growth pills and vitamins you take (and truthfully, you should not be taking that many), you won’t go from a fade to waist length in a year. Be realistic with your goals. Take care of your hair. And have patience.

Paleo Recipes for Thanksgiving: Part I

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Ah, November! One of my favorite months. It's the middle of autumn, I'm finding outfits for holiday parties, and "A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving" is only a few weeks away. This year, my mom has tasked me with cooking Thanksgiving dinner. Since I know that I won't be able to make it just the way she likes, I am making filet mignon, mashed potatoes, and green beans. This menu is subject to change because...well I am always on Pinterest and paleo Thanksgiving recipes are in full swing. So why not start November off right with some paleo Thanksgiving recipes that are both delicious and healthy!
Why wait for Thanksgiving! This looks good for right now and any other time of the year!

This is another great recipe to try now instead of waiting for Thanksgiving. And since I am obsessed with pumpkins this time of year, it would be the perfect thing to make.

Continuing with my Pumpkin-palooza, here is a pumpkin pie with pecan crust recipe. I can honestly say that, since I am not good at making crust, I would probably not make this. But the filling is still super easy to make!

Unlike other paleo stuffing recipes this not only sounds appetizing but it looks appetizing too. Really the only difference is that the bread is made with almond flour instead of regular flour.

Check back next week for more Thanksgiving paleo recipes!