Tuesday, January 31, 2012

T.G.I.N..and you will too!

I had the pleasure of trying three products from a Chicago based company called - Thank God I'm Natural (TGIN).  It's  an organic company created by Chris-Tia Donaldson, the author of the best selling book Thank God I'm Natural: The Ultimate Guide to Caring for Natural Hair.  The items that I tried were provided in a trio sample pack, 100% Natural African Shea Butter, a Lemon-grass Shea Butter soap & a Peppermint Shea Butter lip balm.

I must begin by saying I am a true fan of Shea Butter, so I am very critical of products that use my favorite butter. I use it all the time so you cant fool me with any impostors and TGIN didn't try.  The organic Shea Butter they provided was great.  It came in a small container but the consistency was smooth and creamy, normally I have to whip my Shea Butter & change the properties a little to achieve it. The company provided a quick fact summary of the products claims and benefits that I really appreciated.  The claim that caught my attention was the treatment of eczema. The winter months are very hard on my skin and my eczema is in full fighting mode now.

I had previous success with Shea Butter calming the itchiness and dryness of my skin rashes but this time with the TGIN Shea Butter I also saw an improvement in reduction of the actual rash and the raised bumps actually disappeared.  I used this product exclusively for a week and the rash went from the size of a saucer to a half dollar coin...WOW! I also used the butter on my feet and hands with great results but I expected that because of my previous use of Shea Butter.  I would give this product a 9.5 out of 10....Now I'm not a doctor but if you suffer like I do with skin rashes its worth a try.

The Lemongrass Shea Butter soap is up next and I was a little leery. I had experiences with bar soaps drying my skin and I don't particularly care for them but..... This soap had a true earthy smell, it rinsed clean and although I didn't feel a sense of increased moisture I didn't get the dryness I was expecting.  I used the soap for 4 days and each day I became a little fonder.  I will give this product a 7 out of 10 because I just don't like bar soaps. If this soap came in a liquid form I would definitely give it another try.

Finally the Peppermint Shea Butter lip balm...well you may think there isn't much to a lip balm but if you suffer from dry or cracked lips like I do in the winter...this MATTERS! I loved this balm..my lips were very dry when I began reviewing this product and I was concern with the peppermint burning when applied but to my surprise it did not! It went on smooth, I felt the peppermint penetrating but not with a burning or painful experience. The first day I applied it about three times but as the week progressed I say the need decrease to twice a day and my lips showed a vass improvement.  I would give this product a 9 out of 10.

Have you tried TGIN Shea Butter? Would you like to give it a try? Have you read her best selling book? 

Leave me a comment and you may get the opportunity!

Check out Thank God I'm Natural on twitter: @tginatural

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Don't make guacamole with that Avocado..... Deep Conditioner #2

On a journey to have beautiful & healthy tresses, my daughter Tia & I tried another deep conditioner.  This time we incorporated Avocado to achieve moisture and shine.  This deep conditioner was inspired by Lola Zabeth ......well she had a lot of good stuff in hers but I was broke and didn't have some of the ingredients so I worked with what I had LOL.....

The ingredients were:

4 tablespoons- Greek Yogurt
1 Avocado
2 tablespoons - Honey
2 tablespoons - Apple Cider Vinegar(ACV)
1 teaspoon - Rosemary

I mixed the avocado first with a fork then with a hand mixer, added the yogurt and honey.  I added the ACV & rosemary mixing it  by hand.  The deep conditioner was applied to clean wet hair then wrapped with plastic wrap for 45 minutes.

After coating  both of our heads we had conditioner remaining so we decide to have a spa treatment. we gave a few facials....Even my hubby, James, was willing to give it a try....

The avocado conditioner was great! There was an instant difference in the shine, manageability and moisture. It made a great facial mask leaving our face soft & smooth.  I will definitely use this one again..maybe I'll follow Lola's real recipe next time...she has great advice so follow her on twitter @LolasGreenHair

Have you use avocado in a deep conditioner?
 Is food Mother Nature's answer for healthy hair?

Leave a comment & let me know what you think!

Friday, January 20, 2012

What took so long?....Miss Jessie's Baby Butter Cream

I recently won a contest on twitter hosted by one of my fellow bloggers @cuteandbronzed of www.cuteandbronzed.com and I had the opportunity to try Miss Jessie's Baby Butter cream.  I don't know why I put off trying this butter because its amazing! Now that I think about it, I'm  pretty sure it was my pockets being a little too empty for the $58 for a 16oz jar.... However  after seeing the results and the small amount needed to achieve them I will consider purchasing the smaller 8 oz for $32 or maybe stick with the 2 oz for $9.....

I used the butter cream to do a two strand twist out on dry hair. I did spritz my hair with a little water (Aloe Vera & water) and applied a dime size amount of the cream on each section and twist.

My hair was so soft and retained the moisture from the Aloe Vera and water spritz. I was very happy with the way a small amount seem to cover the entire section of hair I used for each twist. My hair is extremely thick so that's a big deal for my hair.  The smell was pleasant to me, a little minty and sweet but my husband didn't care for it. This product does contain mineral oil (per the label) but I don't have a problem with it. I kept my  twists in for two days (no where to go)...

I loved the curls! My hair was shiny, soft and defined. I would give this product a 8 out of 10 with the only area of concern being the price point. You can find this product and others in the line at Target.

Have you tried Miss Jessie's Baby Butter Cream? Does the price matter?

Please leave a comment, I would love to know what you think! Thanks!!!!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

As I Am - Review & Giveaway

I decided to review the "As I Am" hair care line and also give one lucky reader the opportunity also.  My local Sally's Beauty Supply (nationwide also) has a promotion until the end of January of Buy two get one free so you get to have my free item- YAY!  I purchased the Coconut CoWash and the Leave-in conditioner. I wanted to give the smoothing gel a try but they were sold out.

The Coconut CoWash cleansing conditioner came in a 16 oz size for $7.99 ($7.19 w/Sally's card) and contains Tangerine, Coconut Oil, Castor Oil, Saw Palmetto and Phytosterols according to the front label.  It is a no-suds cleanser that the label claims will help maintain moisture as well as add moisture to your hair.

The Leave-in Conditioner has extracts of Coconut,  Amla, Sugar Beet Root, Green Tea, Lemon, Apple, Sugar Cane, Phytosterols and Saw Palmetto according to its front label. The label also has a few claims which are to keep tangles away, provide a great foundation for styling and to support healthy hair growth by containing an organic strengthening complex.  The As I Am leave-in came in a 8 fl. oz size for $10.49 ($9.49 w/Sally's card).

Coconut CoWash: The packaging is beautiful, it has a lovely coconut smell and the product is whipped and creamy. I followed the directions on the label and completely wet my hair. I used about 3 quarter size scoops and applied it root to tip using my fingers to detangle and completely cover my hair. The label said it would be a great detangler but I think i would have to use a lot if my hair was very tangled. My hair immediately showed a defined curl pattern and my hair was soft and shiny when I rinsed the product out.  I would give it a 8 out of 10 for first impression. I will be using it again and I think you should give it a try- Oh wait, you can Win it!

The Leave-in Conditioner: Now I am extremely picky when it comes to leave-ins...My ultimate favorite is Koils by Nature Shealoe Leave-in but this conditioner has made its way onto my list. The smell is coconut and sweet but the main area of concern for me is the way it penetrates my strands....and it was awesome! My hair is color treated and it only takes one application for me to know if my hair wants to play nice..and they became fast friends immediately. The product is thick but not too thick, my hair felt so good I wanted to just play in it.  I will give it a 9 out of 10 and say TRY TRY TRY It!

Giveaway! One lucky reader will win a 16 oz size As I Am Coconut CoWash!
The winner will be selected by hat drawing on Wednesday 1/18/12.

Here's what you need to do:

1. You must be a fan of my As The Wind Blows facebook fan page

2. You must follow my blog using Google subscribe

3. Leave a comment saying "Enter me cause I did steps 1 & 2"

That's it! I will post a video on my blog Thursday with one of my lovely children revealing the name of the winner. The winner will have 24 hours to email me their mailing info or I will select another winner. I hate going to the post office so I want to do this quickly please LOL!

Have you tried As I Am? Let me know! 

*** Contest is Closed***

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Natural Hair Journey - Butters

2012 has my hair believing she's a lottery winner.  The Greek yogurt deep conditioner, from 1/2/12 post,  has my hair shiny, soft and easy to de-tangle.  Tia had great results too and we will use it again this weekend. I'm going to risk the chance of my hair becoming totally spoiled and incorporate a new butter to my hair growth journey. We will use a whipped Shea Butter daily. Tia is wearing mini twists so I will apply the butter to her ends at night before she goes to bed and on her entire head before she leaves for school.   My hair will be in  multiple styles  , as I try to find my Fro Fashion Week style, but I will use the butter when styling and preparing for bed.

 The Butter:

Raw Shea Butter
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Coconut Oil
Vitamin E Oil

I didn't measure but no more than 2 tablespoons of any of the oils...Using a hand mixer I blended the shea butter until it was smooth..you can melt it down some if you like using a double boiler but i just blended it.  I added the oils one at a time until the consistency was creamy and smooth. I used empty baby food jars given by a great friend (thanks Maribel) to keep the butter in.

Tia and I will use this butter for the month of January but next month we will give another recipe  a try.

Do you use butters for your natural hair? Whats your favorite recipe?

Share! Leave a comment & subscribe!


* get your avocados ready for the next DC*

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Ode to Diana....Ross that is!

I have a slight obsession with 70's Diana Ross and I'm not ashamed to say so! I  love her hair, her style and of course her voice. Those of you, who know me personally, have seen many of my favorite photos of Ms. Ross on my facebook page. Well yesterday on twitter a fellow blogger @TribeCalledCurl tweeted a link from ebonymag.tumblr.com of an Ebony cover from February 1970 that I LOVED!

Well I decided it was time to try and  replicate her hair....better said then done LOL!
I was wearing an old twist out so I just applied a little more Koils by Nature leave in and grabbed some flexi-rods, some satin rollers and some optimism. My hair is all one length so i knew it would be a challenge plus I didn't want to use any hair pins.

  I used flexi -rods in the front and the sides of my hair in a spiral curl but as close to the scalp as I could. I twisted the remainder of my hair before placing it in satin rollers.  I didn't detangle or comb my hair in anyway. I wore my satin bonnet and went to sleep.  When I removed the rollers I was a bit scared because it didn't look like I could possibly accomplish the look but I was determined to try my best.

The spiral curls I didn't separate but pulled width wise to make it full, I did the same with the satin roller curls.  I gently pulled my hair underneath from the roots to also add to the volume.

I couldn't master that sultry look Diana Ross has, and believe me I tried so......goofy??

The curls were soft, big and beautiful. I do need to work on this one but I really liked the end results.

 What do you guys think? Should this style be in the running for Fro Fashion Week?

Leave a comment & let me know what you think!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

My Weight-loss Journey

My next journey is the one many choose as a New Years Resolution- Weight-loss... I have struggled with my weight and health for the last few years and I am ready for a change..Not a quick fix but a long steady life changing course..I expect bumps, turns and curves in the road but I am praying that I don't sit on the side of the street.  I am considered morbidly obese so my weight-loss plan is a little modified.  I will push myself extremely hard and I hope that I can get support from you guys (my readers).  I have more info about my struggles on my Body Tab so feel free to check it out.

My Plan:
I decided to attack my weight problem as a health issue so off to GNC I went. I had researched what my body was probably missing and my allergies so I had a good idea of what I wanted to do.

I knew the best thing to do was to get my body ready for a change by removing the toxins and the clerk agreed.  I chose the GNC 14 day body cleansing. The cost was $37.99 but it included everything I needed for the 14 days .  I also purchased the GNC Total Lean shake to use as a meal replacement for 2 of my daily meals.  I will have a well balanced meal for the third meal and 125 ounces of water per day...Yes, that's a lot of water.  I wont share my weight but I will tell you guys in 14 days if I increased or decreased.  I don't plan to weigh my self more than once every 2 weeks. I really hope you guys will share your weight-loss triumphs and bumps so that I have someone to share and support.  I will put a lot of info on my facebook page so please check it out.  At the time of this post I am on day 3 and I am trucking along!

Are you losing weight or getting healthy in 2012? What are you doing? Please share and leave a comment!

Monday, January 2, 2012

2012 Hair Journey

I am ready to step my hair game up! I was pleasantly surprised with the thickness and length of my hair at the end of 2011 but I was disappointed in the documenting of the process.  I took lots of pictures but I didn't measure, stick to a hair routine or set any goals.  Well this year will be different. I am going to measure my length, stick to a regimen and share the process with you guys.

During the Christmas holiday I decided to straighten my hair so I will take my measurements now.  My hair isn't extremely straight but similar to a stretched length.  My daughter Tia will also follow the 2012 hair program so here is the measurements of the both of us:

Front (bang area) 13 inches
Right - side 13 1/2 inches
Right- back 12 1/2 inches
Left - back 12 inches
Left - side 12 inches
Center - back 10 1/2 inches

Front (bang area) 10 inches
Right - side 10 inches
Right - back 11 inches
Left - back 10 inches
Left - side 10 inches
Center - back 10 inches

Tia created a hair growth t-shirt also.

One of the main areas I want to concentrate on for improving the health of my hair is deep conditioning.  Giving my hair a spa treatment every 2 weeks is a much needed and deserved treat for all the stress it experiences (smile). I will also will be using hot oil treatments, protective styling and protecting my ends.

The first treatment Tia and I will do is the one I borrowed from my YouTube professor Naptural85. This deep conditioner combines Greek yogurt, apple cider vinegar and lavender.  I replaced the lavender with lemon extract because that's what I had in my house...(its only for fragrance so not a big deal)....We kept the conditioner on for 45 minutes. Check out Naptural85's instructions for exact measurements.

We will do this deep conditioner twice this month (again 1/20/12) on a Friday because I will begin doing all deep conditioning on Fridays. I am going to put two strand twists in my hair and Tia will wear a twist out.  I will introduce an oil treatment and a butter on January 6 that I will use this month also.

Are you taking the hair journey with me? Let me know what you think about this conditioner.  Leave a comment and check my facebook page for pictures of our hair styled.  Lets grow together!

Thanks for reading! Remember to subscribe so you don't miss a post!

*Thursday I will detail my weight-loss plan & journey

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Years!

I'm very excited to experience the adventures of 2012. I hope to share a lot more with you (my readers) and make your stories center stage as well. Some of the areas I plan to continue my focus on are hair growth, small business spotlights, giveaways & product reviews but I want to begin sharing more. I will share my weight struggles, family issues and try and get a little crafty with some DIY posts.

I will introduce you to some new people from my travels, in my family and fellow bloggers. 2011 was a great year in natural hair and I expect 2012 to be even better. So let's get our resolutions together then start over with the life changes we really want. My life is an open book so ask away. Struggles aren't worth overcoming if the journey isn't shared. Let's make everyday count!

Monday (1/2/12),  I will begin with my hair journey of '12...I will list my measurements, my plans and the goals I hope to achieve..

Check out this great blog post  about measuring and documenting your journey and get ready to begin this adventure!


Are you in?

Thanks for reading! Please leave a comment I love reading them.

Quick and Easy Chicken Parmesan with Pesto Spaghetti and Green Beans

  When life gets busy, we all crave a hearty and delicious meal without spending hours in the kitchen. Today, we bring you a simple and budg...