To straighten or not to straighten? I’d been contemplating this for a good while. I couldn’t recall the last time my hair was striaght…maybe late 2011 or early 2012. Boredom was starting to set in and I was itching to try something different with my hair. I know, I know – there is no such thing as being bored with natural hair, right? WRONG! I needed a break from my go-to style, my wash n’ go. I really wanted to see my hair in its stretched state and get a good idea of how much my hair had grown in the last couple of years, but the thought of straightening it literally terrified me! Blow dryers, flat irons, tons of heat, pulling and tugging on my gorgeous coils I had worked so hard to maintain and strengthen…OH HELL NAW! I’ve read countless stories of Naturalistas suffering from heat damage due to straightening and this was my biggest fear. Not to mention, no one else’s hands had touched my hair in years. I’ve always been pretty good with styling and caring for my own hair, so I never felt the need to spend tons of money on hair care.
Cooking Chronicles: Lump Crab Mac n’ Cheese
If you or someone you know is from the DMV (DC, MD, VA) area, you already know how much we love our blue crabs. No…seriously…it’s not a game. We eat crabs for breakfast, lunch and dinner – crab omelets, crab salad, crab cakes, crab stuffed salmon, sautéed soft shell crabs, crab soup…hell some of us even fry them! If you are a blue crab lover like myself, you can attest that adding blue crab to just about any recipe is guaranteed to cause an epic explosion of yumminess in your mouth. Let’s just call it a FOODGASM! (Keep your beautiful minds out of the gutter, people. LOL)
I decided to put a little twist on my usual mac n’ cheese recipe and add…you guessed it…BLUE CRAB. Now, the mac n’ cheese argument is a subjective one. Many claim to have the best mac n’ cheese ever; but what really makes it “THE BEST”?. My personal opinion? Your mac n’ cheese can only be labeled “THE BEST” if you use a variety of different cheeses. The different flavors from the cheeses, the creaminess and savoriness make the dish. Add some lump crab to the mix and you have my amazing lump crab mac n’ cheese. I used some of my favorite cheeses; however, feel free to use whichever cheeses stimulate your taste buds. I also switched it up a bit and used penne pasta instead of the traditional macaroni pasta. Check out the recipe below.
Style Chronicles: KTR Collection
Why not start this year off with some awesomeness for my fashion-lovers. I ran across the KTR Collection on Instagram and instantly fell in love with every single piece of clothing they offered. The designer puts together such sexy, chic and classy looks that instantly catch the eye. I absolutely LOVE her style! Her boutique offers dresses, two-piece skirt sets and mostly skirts, many of which can be custom-made to appease your desired length, size and color.
My Hair Care Regimen
Hey there, Naturalistas!
I get a lot of questions regarding my hair care regimen, so I wanted to share it with you all. My regimen below details how I care for my hair on a day-to-day and week to week basis. Check it out!
I set aside one day a week to pamper my hair. My schedule can get pretty hectic at times, but I ALWAYS make time to pamper my hair once a week. I do EVERYTHING to my hair in sections. Sectioning my hair into four ponytails makes it a lot easier for me to work with my kinky/curly texture. I begin my pampering session with a pre-poo or pre-shampoo. A pre-poo is a treatment that is applied to the hair prior to shampooing to add moisture, soften the hair and make the cleansing process easier. I normally pre-poo with a combination of conditioner and oils by mixing the two together, applying the mixture liberally to my sectioned hair, covering my hair with a plastic cap and letting it marinate for 30 minutes to an hour. Heck, sometimes I leave it in for a few hours or pre-poo overnight. By the time wash day rolls around my hair is dry, tangled and yearning for some TLC. Pre-pooing helps tremendously by adding moisture to my hair follicles, softening my hair and making it a lot more manageable prior to shampooing.
Product Review: As I Am Coconut Cowash Cleansing Conditioner
I was a little hesitant to try this product since I’m not an avid cowasher. I do not cowash my hair often, maybe once or twice a month at the most, when I’m short on time and my hair needs a quick refresher. I’m not really the biggest fan of cowashing; it just doesn’t give my hair that clean, fresh feeling I get when I wash my hair with a good moisturizing shampoo. The whole idea of washing the hair with conditioner is a little puzzling to me and I always felt that it contributed to product build-up and did not rid of it. What can I say? I love a nice sudsy shampoo that doesn’t strip the hair. That gives my hair the ultimate “clean” feeling.
Cooking Chronicles: Crab Stuffed Mushrooms
It’s been a while since I’ve shared some yummy goodness with you, so I decided to pass along this tasty crab stuffed mushrooms recipe I experimented with recently.It’s quick, easy and tasty!
Protective Styling: Marley Twists
Hey hey, Naturalistas!
So, let’s talk protective styling. If you aren’t familiar with protective styling, it’s any hairstyle that shields the hair from harmful elements such as extreme weather, heat, and stress on the hair strands caused by daily styling and manipulation. Sometimes it’s just necessary to give your hair a break! Protective styles allow you to give your hair a break and tuck your hair away for an extended amount of time. It reduces and/or eliminates the need to comb, brush, pull, tug, and apply heat to your hair, which in turn minimizes the amount of damage to your hair, and allows your hair to grow freely without any added stress.
Buns, twists, braids, and sew-in weaves (when done properly), are just a few examples of protective styles. Although some of these styles are made to last for months at a time (braids) while others may last just one day (buns), they all aid in protecting your hair from harmful elements we encounter on a regular basis and minimize or eliminate the need to manipulate the hair. Low to no manipulation, protection and proper upkeep results in hair growth and length retention.
Natural Hair + ETC Boutique Tees = One Dope Naturalista!
I am totally obsessed with ETC Boutique’s dope tees! Yolanda Renee, owner and operator of ETC Boutique and Et Cetera Blog Magazine (also a fellow Naturalista, blogger and vlogger), did her thing when she created her line of tees that caters to the everyday Naturalista. I absolutely love her style and her big hair! Her tees are funky, stylish and can easily be dressed up or down. Her boutique also includes jewelry, totes and swimsuits. Check out the ETC Boutique and Et Cetera Blog Magazine HERE.