Hair Collage!

Hair Collage!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Henna Learning Curve: The Struggle

Henna seems to be everywhere online. After spending days weeks researching different brands of Henna, Indigo and Cassia I finally decided to take the plunge. I went to my local Indian grocer and picked up a bag of Nupur Henna.

I read tons and tons of recipes online before deciding to start with the simplest one. A little bit of lemon + as many cups of warm water as needed. Through my research at Mehandi and Henna Sooq I learned a lot of tips. The most interesting one to me was that you should not use boiling hot water under any circumstances. It can burn your henna and lead to an uneven, patchy color on your strands.

For my second batch I used the above recipe and I added some olive oil. This is probably the only time my hair can actually tolerate olive oil. I used it hoping that it would give me an easier rinse-out but I didn't really notice a difference between this and the first time. For once it the EVOO didn't make my hair a stringy tangled mess, which was a plus.

Sidenote, I seem to be a glutton for punishment when it comes to olive oil. My hair doesn't like like heavy oils. My hair doesn't like heavy oils. My hair doesn't like heavy oils. Maybe now it'll stick in my head.

My current batch is very simple. Henna, warm water and some silk amino acids. I love it!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

How I Tricked Myself Into Drinking a Liter+ a Day

I have a confession. I have always hated drinking water. I know it's good for your body, skin, hair etc. but I could never bring myself to drink a glass of it unless I was forced to (by my water loving Mom) or felt nauseas.

Over the years I've gotten started on mini-water kicks, but I've never managed to follow through.

How's that for a daily affirmation?
In college, I bought the 12 ounce glass on the right and vowed to drink 3 glasses of water out of it every day. The idea was that I'd drink one in the morning before class and then drink two when I got back from class. This was a great idea in theory, but then school took over and I found myself rolling out of bed at 10:40 for my 11:00 class all the way on the other side of campus.

So I ditched the water again, except for a glass of water here or there at a restaurant, a sip at a water fountain or a liter bottle of the $4.00 infamous smart water that my university gouged its students for.

1.5 Liters
This went on until about two months ago when I bought my first bottle of Fiji water. The only reason I was initially interested in Fiji was due to the Silica and other minerals inside (which are supposedly great for hair nourishment/growth). I did feel a little snobbish taking my overpriced water to the register for the first time. But then I opened the bottle, took that first sip which changed everything. After drinking Fiji, I can't drink water from the tap or in restaurants. It must be Fiji, water from my Brita pitcher (which has gotten more use in the last two months than it has in the five years I've owned it) or smart water. Call me crazy, or say that I've bought into the hype but I can really taste the difference and it makes drinking water much more pleasant (though not entirely enjoyable).

Probably the best water-bottle I've ever bought
Now onto the trick. I bought the bottle above, which is 24 ounces. A liter is 33.blahblahblah ounces, so I drink three of the above bottle every day, which brings me to 72 ounces for the day which is about 2.5 liters. I am not an extremely competitive person, but I am a person of my word. I committed to drinking three bottles of water each day and the fact that I gave my word (even if only to myself) makes it very hard for me not to drink the water. It's very easy since I stockpiled Fiji during a supermarket sale and all I have to do with my Brita is pour.

My Insanity Shoes: Nike Flex Trainer 3

These are my workout shoes, resting on my yoga mat that I bought for the plyometric exercises. The color isn't that insanely bright in person, but they definitely are not wallflower shoes. I find them to be quite comfortable for my feet which have high arches and tend to supinate/under pronate which means that when I walk I put my weight on the outside of my sole. When I look at the bottom of my shoes, they're all worn down out the outer portion meanwhile, the instep looks perfect hahaha. Ohh well.

On a vain/OCD/first-world problems/totally ridiculous tangent, my shoes are so bright and hard to match that my workout attire is mostly white, black, gray and navy. Ohh well, at least they're classic neutrals that I can wear with any workout shoe.

After day one I thought my arches would be hurting me (sometimes I have Plantar Fasciitis like symptoms), but they were fine. In fact, the only problem that I was was that my wrist/palm of my left hand was hurting me after the first test that involved using it. I had to modify the other moves by using my forearms which slowed me down a bit.

The perforated portion (that's under the check sign in the top photo) worked great to help with any potential instep pain.

Thus far, I have no complaints :)

Monday, July 15, 2013

Day 1 of Insanity Workout

Today was my first day of Insanity and whew, it was NOT easy.

My measurements: I have always been skinny with a little belly, but under 120 pounds which works well for my 5'4" frame. I have really long legs and almost no torso, so any extra weight there can look really sloppy.

Some background on my athletic life:  Before high school, I never played any sports except a random year where I did ballet. Then in high school I picked up tennis, winter track and spring track for a few years. Once I got to college I  didn't start working out until I got a little freshman soda gut. My Mom never bought soda for the house, so I went overboard and started drinking sprite and root beer every day. Anyway, I kicked the soda habit and for the next four years of college I did yoga 2-3 times a week with 1-2 days of Pilates or Kickboxing thrown in. 

When I was working out regularly, my stomach stayed flat for the entire day. Now, my stomach is only flat when I wake up in my morning, which is nothing fantastic.

The real breakthrough that made me decide to start working out were some pictures of myself from July 4th. My stomach looked horrible in the pictures and I was sucking it in with all my might hahaha. Granted I had just left a barbecue, but I hadn't eaten anything outrageous (some berry salad, pasta salad, a corn, and a chicken leg). That night, I channel flipped until I found an Insanity infomercial and watched the entire thing. I bought the DVD's that same week after reading a few blogs to make sure it wasn't a scam. 

Anyway, back to today. The fit test was HARD. I was drenched in sweat even though I had a fan directly pointing on me and ice cold water (I sweat even more than I used to sweat during kickboxing class in the plex/gym at my university that had no AC despite it's sweltering temperatures). 

Here are my fit test results:

Switch kicks, 62
Power jacks, 46
Power knees, 79
Power jumps, 30
Globe jumps, 7
Suicide jumps, 15
Push up jacks, 25
Low plank obliques, 28

A tiny-teeny part of me is dreading tomorrow since I know it'll only get harder, but I'm trying to block out the negative thoughts and think forward to 60 days from now when I'll be so happy that I became an Insaniac. 

Sunday, July 14, 2013

January 2013 to July 2013

April 2013,
Braid-Out or W&G Ponytail
April 2013,
Typical Bun

May 2013,
Refreshed old Braid-Out

May 2013,
W&G Bang w/ Kinky Curly
June 2013,
Damp Braid-Out

July 2013,
DC Bun
July 2013,
DC'ing with Matrix Oil Con.

July 2013
July 2013

December 2011
Throwback to my straight hair

December 2011,
Straight hair before
I hit BSL for the 2nd time

I've been a bad, bad blogger

I've been a terrible blogger. I got wrapped up in life and did one of the things that always leaves me feeling confused with bloggers...I faded away into the depths of the internet, never to be heard from again until now. Forgive me. Please? : D

Anyway, it's been a year and so much has changed with my hair. It's longer, it clumps better, it's been henna'ed, it loves Matrix products etc. I feel like I have a totally different head of hair from last summer.

As a penance, here are some pictures from July 2012 to December 2012

July 2012, the back half
was pinned up
    November 2012,
all down

November 2012

August 2012

Curly Nikki Event August 2012
So much lush natural hair!

September 2012

October 2012
November 2012