Friday, January 29, 2010


I am off today and Monday, so you know what that means? Yep, headed back down to Atlanta! My cousin is at some offsite training for her job, and won't be home until 6:00pm. So that means I won't leave here until around 2:00pm, most likely. I need to beat the traffic that's headed from Charlotte to Gastonia. I have resigned myself to sitting in traffic in ATL because I'll get there smack dab in the middle of rush hour. I'll just pack plenty of snacks and go from there. LOL!

My birthday was pretty cool and mellow, as I expected. I actually had to go in to work late that day, because I needed to renew my license. At least I don't have to deal with that for another 8 years (provided I stay in NC). I took it easy at work, but I still got some things done. Imagine my surprise, when at noon I get called to the front desk for a delivery. LDR sent me an Edible Arrangement of chocolate covered fruit! He got me good. I wasn't expecting that at all. I wasn't expecting anything. Needless to say, that became dessert after lunch. Pineapple, orange slices, strawberries, bananas, grapes, and Granny Smith apple slices, all partially covered in chocolate. So much for watching calories!

Last night we went to a lounge here in CHarlotte called Apostrophe. They had hip hop karaoke. I had a great time. We laughed so much. The only thing was, they didn't have the lyrics available. Now I love music. I know all kinds of old school hip hop, as you saw from the playlist I posted a few weeks ago. But, I don't know ALL the words. Like not enough to just get up there and freestyle. LOL! So, I did not participate, but clearly I need to learn a song for next time.

Now I'm about to hit the shower and get ready to head to ATL. I really hope this "rumor" of snow is just that...I'm not ready to deal with the crazy drivers on the road.

I hope everyone has a good weekend!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Still Sick...and Other Randomness

So, I'm still sick. I got sick Christmas Eve, with what I thought would be a simple cold. It morphed into bronchitis and sinusitis. I went to the EENT (ear/eye/nose/throat) doc on 1/5 when I returned from Atlanta. He gave me an Rx for an antibiotic called Cefdinir. I believe this is what they gave me when I had my ear infection last year. Needless to say, I was not amused, because I hate taking antibiotics. I get the two main side effects every time - disruption of the digestive process, and disruption of the good know what that leads to.

I took my Cefdinir for 10 days and felt like I was getting better. I had a slight cough, but I wasn't waking up in the middle of the night with coughing fits, or coughing up the yucky stuff. I was still able to go running on 1/18 and 1/20. Both days were relatively warm for us - in the 60s, even. I was feeling great! Then Thursday set in, and suddenly the cough was getting more aggressive. By Friday I KNEW it was coming back with a vengeance. I had planned to get up on Saturday (1/23) and do a 5 mile run that morning. Needless to say, I woke up hacking up phlegm and and lung, and decided that was not a good idea. Sunday, I did nothing but lounge around on my couch. I didn't leave my apartment until around 9:00 that night, and that was only at the urging of a good friend who insisted I needed I'm sure had he lived here, he would have already brought it over to me.

Yesterday, I went back to the doctor. No wheezing in my lungs (which I already knew). This time he put me on Augmentin for 10 days, and the dreaded Prednisone for about 6-7 days. I'm not happy about either one of these things. The last time I took Prednisone, I felt like I wanted to eat my desk every day at work. I was ravenous. And of course, I ate all the wrong things. After that little adventure, I found myself not fitting in clothing that had just fit 2-3 weeks prior. Not cool! I am going to make a conscious effort to have good snacks around, like fruit and veggies, for when these cravings do start. Right now, I'm not really that hungry. My sense of smell is gone by the wayside in light of the sinus issues, so I don't have cravings or anything. I don't even want to eat. I force myself to eat because I know I have to. I had oatmeal for breakfast and I'm eating an apple now.

Another reason why I really don't like taking these drugs, is that I'm trying to remove as many synthetic things from my body as I can. Prednisone is soooo not natural and it has crazy side effects if you take it for long periods of time. I decided that with this go-round of antibiotics, I'd start taking the probiotics as well, instead of letting it all wreak havoc and THEN taking the probiotics. We'll see how this works out. I'll have to update the blog if I have success, in case anyone else has these same side effects.

A few weeks back I posted a blog on LDRs. I really do dread them, really. But I decided to look into with some caveats. I've told the person that we can absolutely spend time getting to know more about each other, but I have no plans of moving up north. None. Zero. So, if this were to truly blossom, he's gotta move. And obviously that can't be a half cocked decision. I'm actually having a good time with this. When you're not in each other's faces you HAVE to can't get so wrapped up in the physical. We talk about everything and nothing. Did I mention this is someone I've known since junior high? I think I feel more comfortable it because we know so many of the same people, I know his dad, he knows my brothers...I feel like that cuts down on the propensity for BS (although I know it can still rear it's ugly head!). We didn't interact very much back in the day. Frankly, I didn't think he noticed me much back then. I'm sure that his personality now has been shaped by life's experiences, and is different from what it was back then. I will admit I DID have some preconceived notions about him. When we started talking, it was initially about running, how I got started, why did I run the half marathon, etc. Really, simple things. But it sure wasn't anything I thought he'd be interested in. He surprises me with how much he actually LIKES to talk. We talk pretty much on a daily basis. Anywho, long story short, neither of us has said anything to the friends we have in common. I think people have an inkling...but they're sort of thinking, "y'all two? Nah." LOL! He'll be here in March (he has some family here), so we're going to hang out then. It'll be interesting to see how this ends up.

And in other GREAT, random news - my 35th birthday is tomorrow! I can't believe it. I think back to age 25 and wonder if this is where I thought I was going to be when I turned 35. The answer is, "not quite." But I'm still happy, and at the end of the day, I'm still blessed. I think 2010 will be the year when I finally learn how to get out of my own way (for real, for real), and stop blocking blessings! :)

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Dude...seriously?? the end of 2008, beginning of 2009, I was talking to this guy I've known for a few years now. Prior to this time it had been strictly platonic, and then that fall we decided to try dating. I don't know if you can call it that, because at the time we were (and are still) in different cities. I think I talked about him before on here, but I don't remember what his nickname was. We parted ways mid-February 2009.

Anywho, after the lameness in which we parted ways, I just stopped talking to him. He would send me emails occasionally, and at first I was giving really short, curt answers. But when he asked about my dad and his cancer battle, that softened me up a little. So every few weeks we would communicate. Definitely not every day or every week.

Now I've known that basically right after he stopped dealing with me, he started dating his old co-worker. I called that one from jump. Yesterday, I was out of the office. This morning I get in, and there's an email:


How are you doing? I just wanted to let you know that I got engaged.
I'm not sure if it matters to you or not, but I did want you to know."

Um...I don't care. And I don't mean that in a mean way. I mean that I'm indifferent about the situation. I'm not happy, I'm not sad or upset, I simply just don't care. Really, it isn't any of my business. At no time have we ever discussed our dating lives during these emails. At this point we are acquaintances, nothing more, nothing less. If we were FRIENDS, maybe this would be a little different. Maybe.

Why do men do stupid stuff like this? When I get engaged (I'm just gonna go ahead and say "when" and claim it), I will not be seeking out ex-flings to make special announcements. Da heezy??

Monday, January 18, 2010

Product Rave: Aubrey Organics Honeysucke Rose Conditioner

INGREDIENTS: Coconut Fatty Acid Cream Base, Organic Aloe Vera, Organic Shea Butter, Wheat Germ Oil, Organic Jojoba Oil, Organic Rosa Mosqueta Rose Hip Seed Oil; Extracts of Fennel, Hops, Balm Mint, Mistletoe, Chamomile and Magnolia; Honeysuckle Oil, Carrot Oil, Aubrey's Preservative (Citrus Seed Extract, Vitamins A, C, and E)

The girls over at Long Hair Care Forum have been raving about this product for a while. Affectionately abbreviated as AOHSR, I've read as they have extolled it's virtues, but I just tried it this evening.

This? Absolutely, positively, ridiculously GOOD and will become a staple! I can't believe I waited this long to try it! I'm not usually a fan of "floral" type scents, but it's more honeysuckle than rose, and it's not overpowering. This conditioner is so thick and creamy. As you can see, there's no water listed in the ingredients. If the top is off and you tip this over (if you're coordination-challenged like me, this is bound to happen at some point), nothing is coming out. You absolutely have to squeeze this bottle in order for it to come out.

I usually wash/conditioner wash my hair in 4 sections, using butterfly clips to hold the sections apart. I worked a generous amount into each section, then took care of the rest of my shower duties. When I went to detangle the back right section, working from the ends of my hair towards the roots, the comb just slid through like BUTTAH. Minimal shed hair lost. I'm in love!

I detangled all four sections and rinsed, and my hair felt so moisturized. Sometimes, after using a commercial conditioner, my hair would feel moisturized while still damp, but as it dried it didn't feel the same. Not the case with AOHSR. I can't wait to see what it feels like in the morning when I take out these flat twists! I am going to use this to deep condition as well - I will add it to the coconut milk/olive oil/honey mixture to help with slip.

I am definitely going to try some more of the Aubrey Organics products, as this was a great introduction to that line. It's all natural, no synthetic ingredients. 5 stars, 2 thumbs up, and 3 snaps in a Z formation!

Product Rave: Dr. Bronner's 18-in-1 Hemp Citrus Orange Pure Castile Soap

INGREDIENTS: Water, Saponified Organic Coconut & Organic Olive Oils (w/Retained Glycerin), Organic Hemp Oil, Organic Jojoba Oil, Organic Orange Oil, Organic Lemon Oil, Organic Lime Oil, Organic Grapefruit Oil, Citric Acid, Vitamin E

So, I'm a sucker for anything citrus. I just love the scent. I used to use Dr. Bronner's castile soap back in 2005-2006, not sure why I stopped using it. I would use the peppermint or the almond. Back then, I don't think they had the citrus scents.

Castile soap is the greatest. You can clean just about anything with this. You can do laundry with it. You can clean your whole body, head to toe. I use it to wash my hair and to wash my body. I love the scent and the fact that it's derived from oils and not synthetic fragrance. This product is 100% natural. Woo hooo! It creates a rich lather. When washing your hair you only need to shampoo once...unless you have a lot of product build up, or you just love that "squeaky clean" feeling. If you use this with a pouf or a sponge, you won't need much to make a great lather.

My only con - it burns like the dickens if you get it in your eyes. Other than that, I have nothing bad to say about it. It will be a staple from now on. I think I'm going to go back and get the orange to try out, and I'm currently using up a small bottle of almond. I may use that in the laundry, though.

This soap gets 5 stars and two thumbs up! :)

Today's Run

Today I decided to go for a four mile run on the greenway. On my side of town we have the Mallard Creek Greenway, and then we have the Clark Greenway. They actually kind of intersection. When the Mallard Creek Greenway gets to 3 miles, it cuts to the left...but if you keep straight, the Clark Greenway begins. It took us the longest time to figure out how they were marking the miles. Reading is fundamental! But in our defense, we never started at the beginning of either of the greenways (they have several entrances), so that's why we were confused.

Anywho, the Clark Greenway has more little hills. We're not talking about huge elevations here, just enough to make you feel like stopping to walk when you haven't really been dilligent about training. As I left the apartment, I was trying to rationalize going to Mallard Creek, which is relatively flat. Ultimately, I knew better, and I hit up Clark.

It was gorgeous today! About 60 degrees when I left the house at 4:30. Considering that the temps were in the teens a few weeks ago, I was loving it. And so was everyone else. Lots of walkers, joggers and bikers on the greenway. I was feeling tired, sluggish, and just plain not wanting to be there, but I knew I had to get it in.

I told someone that I wanted to keep it between 11:00 - 11:30/mile for this run. That's so slow, but I'm trying to work my way down. The first mile took 10:52 and the second took 10:56. My Achilles started hurting so I stopped and walked for a couple of minutes and then did some stretches. I started back on the third mile and ran it at 11:17. I went another quarter mile before I had to stop and stretch again. Clearly I did not stretch enough before I got started!

That last .75 I just tried to kill it because I was ready to be done. By the time I finished up Nike+ said I was running at 8:55 pace when I hit pause. Of course, it still needs to be recalibrated. But still. That lets me know that I was pushing it towards the end. The total running time (not including the 3-4 minutes of walking/stretching) turned out to be 41:55! Not bad for someone recovering from bronchitis. :)

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Slowin' Down...

This morning I went to the Mallard Creek Greenway to run with the Purple Butterfly running club. It was so nice to see all those ladies, from beginner to intermediate, out there exercising and making the committment to come out there on Saturday mornings.

I only ran 3 miles and I felt so sluggish. Nike+ is now bugging out. Not only does it need to be recalibrated, it is not uploading my workouts to the website. They're on the iPod and I can see them, and in iTunes it claims to have uploaded the data, but I can't see it online. I know they switched websites from to, but that shouldn't have affected everything. I ran a Google search and others have been having this problem. I need to call their customer service. In one of the Nike Plus forums the csr indicated he could see all of a runners workouts, and he did something to make them actually post to this person's profile. I hope they can do that for me.

I really wish it would warm up and we could gain more daylight minutes right now. I definitely need to get back to running outside! I'm losing my mojo and my speed. This morning's run took 33:42. The best part about it was that we saw 4 deer cross the path. They were so cute! They were about 20 feet from the actual greenway path when we went by. They were all staring at us as if to say, "what are you doing out here?" LOL! At least it was the does and not the bucks. I'm not sure how the bucks would have reacted.

I'm committing to Monday through Thursday running for this upcoming week. Friday is my bowling get together for my birthday, so I'm not even going to try on that date. I should be able to make it out with the running club on Saturday as well. I also need to find a race to sign up for.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

That's What I'm Talmbout, Pedro!!

"The only way to bring him into understanding is by putting the pain on him and understand that everybody understands pain..."

Bwaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahahahahahahahahaha! Only in Memphis. Homeowner beats up would-be burglar. I guess he thought because Pedro was 51 and he was in his 20s, that it'd be easy to just take him down. Guess again!

Read the story and see the video here.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Good Stuff

As a follow up to the post two days about about the synthetic chemicals, I just wanted to list a few things here that you can use, for those of us who are not kitchen mixtresses.

AUBREY ORGANICS: Aubrey Organics has been on the scene for years. Surprisingly, I have never tried any of their products. Aubrey knows all about the bad, synthetic ingredients and he doesn't use any of them. I've heard many folks gush about the Aubrey Organics Honeysuckle Rose conditioner. It's on my list of things to try for conditioner washes.

GIOVANNI: Giovanni Hair Care Products are also known for using organic ingredients and none of the synthetic ingredients we should try to avoid. You can likely find both Giovannit and Aubrey Organics in your local health food store.

KUUMBA MADE: I like to add fragrance to the things I mix at home. But sometimes, I want something other than the essential oil fragrances. I've been adding lavender and lemongrass to my body butter, and the lemongrass is usually the stronger scent. I was at a loss as to what I could add without adding anything crazy. That's when Kenya told me about Kuumba Made. I got the Amber & Sandalwood scent, and the Black Coconut scent. I have on the body butter I mixed wtih the black coconut. I only added lavender to this batch, and I can smell the Black Coconut over the lavender. Our local Health HOme Market sells these fragrances - ask around in your area to see if your local health food store has them.

ORGANIQUE BY HIMALAYA: Organique's website boasts that their products are "free from over 200 synthetic ingredients." Although the company has been around since 1930, I really just heard about these products in the last 6 months. I'm attracted to the fact that they use herbs based in Ayurveda. I have some samples of these products from oru last Meet Up, and I can't wait to use them!

These are the lines I can remember off the top of my head. I know there are more, so I will make a part two for this post.

Monday, January 11, 2010

I Use Nothing but Juices and Berries...

OK, not really. LOL! But given yesterday's discussion on synthetic ingredients, I set out to find something natural to use as a moisturizing deep conditioner. As you know, I had to let my beloved Jessicurl Too Shea conditioner go, because it has one of the baddies in it. What was I to do? At that point, I had no conditioners in the house. I had not gotten any Aubrey Organics or Giovanni when I was at Healthy Home Market on Saturday. I had to use something in the house, or something that was readily obtainable from a grocery store.

I decided to try coconut milk. I had read about it in passing, but had not put it to the test. Of course, I had no coconut milk in the house. I mean, who keeps that in the house? Not us "kitchen-challenged" (read: non-cooking)folks. I'd venture to say that not many folks who cook keep coconut milk in the house. I had to run to Trader Joe's since I needed some more supplements, so I decided to see if they had coconut milk. They had one can of "light" coconut milk. I wasn't sure what that meant, but I purchased it anyway. I ultimately went to the grocery store and got a regular can of Goya Coconut Milk. I checked the ingredients and didn't see anything bad.

At home, I gave myself a cleansing treatment with Kalpi Tone, Shikakai, and Amla powders. I made sure to scritch my scalp well. I let that sit longer than intended. I got distracted watching Snapped. While this was sitting on my head, I mixed the following:

  • Approx 1/2 can of the coconut milk (it may have been more than half...sorry, peeps)
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 tablespoon organic molasses

I had poured a whole tablespoon of molasses and then somewhere in the back of my mind, my inside voice reminded me that I had read that molasses can act like a protein. I think I probably would have been ok, as I haven't done a protein treatment in a while. But I decided to err on the side of caution and I only poured about half the teaspoon in.

For those of you who have never used coconut milk before, it does not have that toasted coconut smell like the unrefined oil. It was just sort of bland, actually. I mixed all of this together and let it sit. It was very "liquid," so I knew it was going to be a messy application process. I was right. After I rinsed the powders out, I intended on applying this treatment while in the shower, but I couldn't see what I was doing. I had this mixture all over my sink and floor when this was all over.

I planned to sit under my heat cap for 30 minutes, but that turned into an hour...between writing last night's blog, cutting up with the folks on Twitter about the Celebration of Gospel on BET, and chatting on the net. Oops! Oh well, no harm no foul. When I was initially applying the mixture, I was able to finger comb through some of my tangles. But after leaving it on for so long, I had to work a little harder to detangle because of shrinkage. But it still worked, I just had to detangle in the shower. I also had to put about 4 plastic caps on my head, but I knew it would still drip out. I ended up putting a towel around my next and that kept me dry.

After rinsing and detangling, I put Asha's Mane Attraction Hair Butter throughout my hair. I let it air dry to about 80% dry, and then put in my usually flat twists for a twist out the next morning. I applied HairVeda's Vatika Frosting to my scalp and then tied with a scarf and went to bed. When I took the twists out this morning, my hair was extra soft! Matter of fact, I realize after that treatment that I don't even need to use much Asha's. I didn't use a lot and it was still too much. It feels GREAT and the sheen is off the chain.

Overall I give this a 4 out of 5 stars. I have to do something about the messiness. Someone online suggested adding Knox Gelatin to the mixture. I just wonder how that alters the effectiveness of the treatment, if it alters it at all. I'm thinking for now that I will try to find some type of squeeze bottle, and pour the mixture into there. Then I could go with my original plan of applying in the shower.

If you try this, you have to come back and let me know how it works for you. :)

Sunday, January 10, 2010

They Put What in What???

I am a member of the Natural Hair Meet Up group here in Charlotte. One of our awesome members is a certified organic health expert (OK I know I got that wrong but I can't remember her exact title right now). She works at Healthy Home Market in Davidson (north of Charlotte) and has been my go-to person with health questions.

I got to the meeting a few minutes late. HHM was kind enough to let us use their new community room for the get together. I have to say I smiled widely when I walked in and saw all the "nappies" (that's what we call ourselves). Locs, twists, twist outs, braid outs, 'fros...just awesomeness!!

You don't have to be a black female to see how many products are THROWN at us in this endless search for manageable, healthy, beautiful hair. Not that they aren't thrown at other women, but I've noticed in the past 10 years that the "ethnic hair care section" has been growing exponentially. Used to be a piece of a shelf, now it's a big section in stores like WalMart, Walgreens and others.

I personally have gotten away from using a lot of the commercial products. Mainly because of two ingredients: petroleum/mineral oil, and sodium lauryl/laureth sulfate. The former because up to Friday's meeting, I only knew that it was not moisturizing and therefore would defeat the purpose for someone who has hair prone to dryness. The latter for the same deal - it strips the hair of natural oils, and contributes to dryness.

Friday's meeting opened my eyes. While I was on the right track with avoiding those two things, that was just the tip of the iceberg, and the reasons I cited weren't even the most important!

Kenya gave us so much information, my head was spinning. She is a two time lymphoma survivor, and is really vested in this information. I knew she was going to hit us with the cold, hard truth. The first part of the meeting was a true/false quiz. All the answers were false. I am going to ask her for the questions so I can post them for you here at a later date.

After that, she gave us all a free copy of "Natural Ingredients Dictionary," by Aubrey Hampton. Aubrey Hampton is the founder of Aubrey Organics products. The dictionaries were donated to the store, so that we could have them for free. At the back of this dictionary, Kenya had us turn to a list entitled "Ten Synthetic Cosmetic Ingredients to Avoid." Here are those 10 things:


More on some of those in a minute. Kenya asked us to bring 3 - 5 hair and body products that we like to use, so that we could look for these ingredients. The first four listed are almost always in the products marketed towards women of color. I took some Victoria Secrete and Bath & Body Work's lotions, one of my Soul Purpose shea butter balms, and my Suave conditioner. I was using Suave for my conditioner washes, but the other things I really haven't been using much, since I've been making my own scented body butter.

Well I'm here to tell ya - those lotions and that Suave have several of these ingredients that need to be avoided. There were at least 20 people in that room. If we all brought 5 products, there were at least 100 products there (granted, probably some duplicates, but still). Out of all of them, only ONE product passed the test. And it wasn't something readily available in the stores. ONE product? Just ONE?? Wow.

If I type out all the things about those ten ingredients, this would be a ridiculously long blog post. I encourage you to research and read for yourself, and then make your own decisions. But here are a few tidbits:

  • METHYL, PROPYL, BUTYL AND ETHYL PARABEN - this is used to extend product shelf life. It is weakly estrogenic and is easily absorbed through the skin. Known to be toxi.
  • DIETHANOLAMINE (DEA), TRIETHANOLAMINE (TEA)- used as emulsifiers/foaming agents. Can cause allergic reactions, eye irritation and dryness of hair and skin. They are ammonia compounds and form cancer-causing nitrosamines when they are mixed with nitrates. Toxic if absorbed over a long period of time.
  • DIAZOLIDINYL UREA, IMIDAZOLIDINYL UREA - preservatives. Primary cause of contact dermatitis. AKA Germall II and Germal 115. They both release formaldehyde! Yuck!
  • SODIUM LAURYL/LAURETH SULFATE - harsh detergent. Many times derived from petroleum. Causes many allergic reactions.
  • PETROLATUM - well, y'all already know this is the fuel we put into our vehicles. Petroleum jelly and mineral oil are derived from petrolatum. There's no nutrient value in these ingredients. It doesn't moisturize - matter of fact, it can interfere with your body's own moisturizing mechanism.
  • PROPYLENE GLYCOL - IF this is derived from vegetable glycerin mixed with grain alcohol, it is ok. But generally it's a synthetic petrochemical mix...can cause hives and eczema. A girl in class stated that she has eczema and her doctor actually gave her an Rx for a cream with this in it. Things that make ya go hmmm...
  • PVP/VA COPOLYMER - this is a waste material from the production of plastic. I don't think I need to add anything else here...
  • STEARLKONIUM CHLORIDE - get this: this product was developed by the FABRIC INDUSTRY as a fabric softener. How the hell did it wind up in hair conditioners?? This is toxic!!
  • SYNTHETIC COLORS - You know how you read food and product labels, and a color will be listed as FD & C Red No. 6, or D & C Green NO. 6? This is what they are - synthetic colors. They can be carcinogenic. And they don't have to tell you what they used to "make" the color.
  • SYNTHETIC FRAGRANCES - a synthetic fragrance can have up to 200 ingredients. Just ONE fragrance. And again, they don't have to tell you what the ingredients are. Some of the synthetic fragrances can cause hyperpigmentation and skin irritation, and a laundry list of other affects.

We didn't even get into talking about make up. I'm scared for when we do. But I know it's coming, so I will steel myself accordingly. We DID discuss deodorants/anti-perspirants. I've known for a while that these are not good. We NEED to sweat. That's one of the ways the lymphatic system gets rid of waste products from our bodies. Anti-perspirants don't allow us to do this. We have some pretty important lymph nodes under our arms, right near our breasts. So imagine what we're holding in? Even knowing this, I still swabbed on my Degree or Secret and went on about my day. When questioned about an alternative, Kenya advised us about a deodorant called
Crystal Body Deodorant Stick. What this amounts to is a stick of mineral salts. It's clear. It has no scent/odor. It's Ammonium Alum.

I'll be the first to tell you I gave a side eye at what she referred to as "the rock" (the large size is formed into a big rock shape and last for a loooooooong time). We were like, um...what is a rock gonna do for us? Well that odor under our arms is caused by odor-causing bacteria. The Crystal stick provides a barrier that stops the bacteria from forming. You either wet the stick or apply to wet skin. It will dry clear.

I bought the smallest size. I was majorly skeptical about this. I'm not trying to walk around smelling like Pepe LePew. Especially since I work out several times per week. Saturday morning was the test. I told my friend Lori that I'd go with her so she could walk on the treadmill up in the work out room at my job. You must apply this to clean armpits, so I showered and applied it. I put on my work out clothes and headed up to the gym. I wimped out on my work out and only ran 2.6 miles (yeah, yeah, yeah. I know), but I most definitely was sweating. After I got off of the treadmill I did a quick smell check. Nothing. Hmmmm. Went home, disrobed and still nothing! I showered and re-applied. Now the rest of that day, Verizon got my pressure up (and thus my body temp and sweating) and then the Cowboys-Eagles game had some tense moments. When I tell you there was not ONE OUNCE OF ODOR, I truly mean it. Not one! I truly believe that every product is YMMV (your mileage may vary). What works for some may not work for others. But it is not expensive, and I had nothing to lose by trying it. We'll see how it works out for the rest of the week.

I could go on, but I'm going to wrap this up. Ultimately, whatever you decide to do is up to you. There are so many toxins we're exposed to on a daily basis. We may not be able to omit exposure from all of them, but I'm all for reducing where I have control. I'm perturbed that we've been hoodwinked and bamboozled by some of these companies for so long - but that's another discussion for another post. I purged my products yesterday. It really hurt me to my heart that my Jessicurl Too Shea conditioner had the diazolidinyl urea in it. Everything else was great! I'm mad that I ordered a liter. All my smell good lotions are hitting the trash can as well. I've posted pics of the purge and keep piles below.

One of the most important things Kenya said on Friday is this: we have to change our perceptions of what our hair is supposed to look like, smell like, and how it's supposed to feel. Same thing with our skin. A lot of these ingredients are producing an illusion. And that illusion can be hazardous to our health.

On Facebook? Become a fan of Kenya's page, Minority Natural Health Network

On Twitter? Follow her - HealthBeatNews

Her blog - Health Beat News

PURGED at the top, and KEPT at the bottom:

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Ride or Die, Fool!

So...we all have that one crazy friend. Well, maybe more than one, now that I think about it. They always have some kind of shenanigans going on, usually involving a guy, and they want to get you to participate with them. This morning I was talking to two of my co-workers, and we somehow got on the subject of this. Given who one of the co-workers is, this doesn't surprise me, but anywho...

I moved to Charlotte in 1999. I met several pretty cool people through my job. One was a woman named T. T was cool - she was that time I was 24. She was good friends with KappaC (yeah, the one who left me in the woods with the wild boar), and we all used to hang out together. T was dating this guy who split his time between Charlotte and Winston-Salem, due to his job. She apparently had some suspicions that he was up to no good. One night, I get a phone call:

Me: Hello
T: Hey girl, it's T.
Me: What's up?
T: Listen...I need to drive up to Winston-Salem to check on X. He told me he was gonna be doing one thing, but I think he's up to something else.
Me: OK...
T: But I don't wanna take my car. He'll recognize it, if he is home. Can we take your car? I'll drive.
Me: Um...ok....I guess? <-- getting pulled into the okie doke and don't even realize.
T: OK. I'll be at your apartment in 20 minutes. Wear black. *click*

Now, when someone tells you to wear black, you gotta know that something is a-foot. You should probably say no and decline to participate. Being the young, naive person I was at the time, I didn't think much of it. She pulls up to my house and drives us up to Winston-Salem. We get to his house and she jumps out of the car and wants me to "kill the lights" so she can peek in his garage windows to check for his car. Problem was, I was driving a 96 Chevy Corsica. At that time, the manufacturers were still working on that whole "daytime running lights" thing. So my lights would be on, even if I had the button in the "off" position. I had to figure out how to turn them off. She went straight into panic mode. LOL!

Long story short: fool wasn't home. We went up a side street and parked the car, with our dang seats leaned back like we were PIs. At any moment I expected Winston-Salem PD to roll up on us because one or two neighbors were out walking their dogs, and 2 - 3 cars ended up driving by. Finally, around 2:00am or so, she decided she was over it. I drove us back home.

Do you have any friends who try to talk you into foolishness? Have you ever called your own friends up for a "ride or die" mission? Details! Inquiring minds want to know!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Hey Mr. DJ...

TwitterFriends and I were discussing music/playlists to keep you motivated while you are running or working out. I have two playlists on my iPod that are long enough to take me through a half marathon or any long distance run. I usually set the iPod to "shuffle albums" and then let it do its thing. So even though I know what songs are on there, I don't know which one is going to play next.

I tend to love old school music, so here are a couple of playlists for those who are interested (yes...I gave iTunes some serious change. But some of this I had on different CDs in my collection):

55 songs, 4.1 hours
This playlist wasn't made for running, it was just all the songs I loved. But I found that listening to a lot of these songs kept my mind occupied enough that I could still run, but I had something to think about other than how tired I was or how much I'd rather just be eating ice cream.

  • Ain't No Half Steppin' [Explicit]- Big Daddy Kane
  • Bonita Applebum - A Tribe Called Quest
  • The Bridge Is Over [Explicit] - BDP
  • Buddy - De La Soul
  • Cha Cha Cha (Explicit LP Version) - MC Lyte
  • Check The Rhime - A Tribe Called Quest
  • Chief Rocka (Explicit)- Lords of the Underground
  • Children's Story [Explicit]- Slick Rick
  • The Choice Is Yours (Revisited)- Black Sheep
  • Don't Sweat The Technique - Eric B & Rakim
  • Doowutchyalike (LP Version) - Digital Underground
  • Electric Relaxation - A Tribe Called Quest
  • Flava In Ya Ear - Craig Mack
  • Get Up Everybody - Salt-N-Pepa
  • Gittin' Funky (LP Version) - Kid N' Play
  • Hey Young World - Slick Rick
  • Hip Hop Junkies - Nice & Smooth
  • The Humpty Dance (LP Version)- Digital Underground
  • I Got It Made (Clean Version)- Special Ed
  • I Know You Got Soul - Eric B & Rakim
  • I Like It (I Wanna Be Where You Are)- Grand Puba
  • I Wish - Skee-Lo
  • It's A Shame - Monie Love
  • It Takes Two - Rob Base
  • Just A Friend [Explicit] - Biz Markie
  • Keep Rising To The Top - Doug E. Fresh
  • Kiss You Back (Single Version)- Digital Underground
  • Ladies First (LP Version)- Queen Latifah/Monie Love
  • Latifah's Had It Up To Here (Amended LP Version)- Queen Latifah
  • Looking At The Front Door - Main Source
  • Love Me Or Leave Me Alone (Explicit LP Version)- Brand Nubian
  • Ownlee Eue (LP Version) - Kwame
  • Paid In Full - Eric B & Rakim
  • Passin' Me By - The Pharcyde
  • Peaceful Journey - Heavy D & The Boyz
  • Poor Georgie (Explicit LP Version) - MC Lyte
  • Rebirth of Slick (Cool Like Dat) (2005 Digital Remaster) (Explicit)- Diggable Planets
  • The Rhythm (LP Version)- Kwame
  • Rollin' With Kid 'N Play (LP Version) - Kid 'N Play
  • Same Song (Edit Version)- Digital Underground
  • Say No Go - De La Soul
  • Self Destruction - Stop The Violence Allstars
  • The Show - Doug E. Fresh
  • So Wat Cha Sayin' (Explicit) - EPMD
  • South Bronx [Explicit]- BDP
  • Straighten It Out (LP Version)- Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth
  • They Reminisce Over You (Single Version)- Pete Rock & C.L. SMooth
  • They Want EFX - Das EFX
  • Treat 'Em Right (LP Version)- Chubb Rock
  • U.N.I.T.Y. - Queen Latifah
  • Vapors [Explicit]- Biz Markie
  • What's On Your Mind - Eric B & Rakim
  • Work It Out - Monie Love
  • You Can't See What I Can See - Heavy D. & The Boyz
  • You Gots 2 Chill [Explicit]- EPMD

52 songs, 3.8 hours
I'm an 80s baby...what can I say. These are not all running-paced songs, so when I do listen to this I sometimes have to hit forward.

  • Something About You - Level 42 (OK I LOVE this song and was very psyched when Anthony David re-made it in 08)
  • Human (Extended Version)- Human League
  • Things Can Only Get Better - Howard JOnes
  • Back In The High Life Again - Steve Winwood
  • The Warrior - Scandal feat. Patty Smyth (this is actually my "boost" song on Nike +)
  • Always Something There To Remind Me - Naked Eyes
  • Steppin' Out - Joe Jackson
  • Look of Love, Pt 1 - ABC
  • Abracadabra - Steve Miller Band
  • We Don't Talk Anymore - Cliff Richard (ok this is 70s - why is this on here? LOL)
  • Too Late for Goodbyes - Julian Lennon
  • Hold Me Now - Thompson Twins
  • I Can Dream About You - Dan Hartman
  • Cruel Summer - Bananarama
  • Genius of Love - Tom Tom Club
  • Catch Me I'm Falling - Pretty Poison
  • She Blinded Me With Science - Thomas Dolby
  • Living Years - MIke and the Mechanics
  • Keep On Loving You - REO Speedwagon
  • I'll Be Over You - Toto
  • Promises, Promises - Naked Eyes
  • TRUE - Spandau Ballet
  • If You Don't Know Me By Now - Simply Red
  • Valerie - Steve Winwood
  • Everybody Wants To Rule The World - Tears For Fears
  • Burning Down the House - Talking Heads
  • The Captain Of Her Heart - Double
  • No One Is To Blame - Howard Jones
  • Dont You Want Me Baby - Human League
  • Breaking Us In Two - Joe Jackson
  • Foolish Heart - Steve Perry
  • While You See A Chance - Steve Winwood
  • Who's Crying Now - Journey
  • Every Time You Go Away - Paul Young
  • In The Air Tonight - Phil Collins
  • Take it on the run - REO Speedwagon
  • Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)- Journey
  • Shout - Tears for Fears
  • Roll With It Baby - Steve Winwood
  • Don't Dream It's Over - Crowded House
  • All I Need - Jack Wagner
  • Owner of a Lonely Heart - Yes
  • Take On Me - A-ha
  • Holding Back the Years (12" Extended Mix) - Simply Red
  • Don't You (Forget About Me)- Simple Minds
  • Take My Breath Away (Love Theme from "Top Gun")- Berlin
  • In Your Eyes - Peter Gabriel
  • Sledgehammer - Peter Gabriel
  • Once In a Lifetime - Talking Heads
  • Don't Stop Believin' - Journey
  • Head Over Heels - Tears for Fears
  • I Can't Wait - Nu Shooz

So, as you can musical tastes are all over the place. What I run to depends really on how I'm feeling. Some people need really high energy music. I just need something I like that will keep me entertained. Experiment - make your own playlists and share! What type of music do you listen to when you work out?

Monday, January 4, 2010

It's 2010!

The first post of the new year! Woo hooo!!

I brought in the New Year in style at SkateTowne in Atlanta, GA. They even gave us champagne and cake. I don't know how roller skating and champagne mix, but ok. I had a great time in Atlanta...I got to see some old skate friends, hang out with my cousin, and had lunch today with old co-workers. Everyone keeps asking me when I'm coming back. I just tell them, "you never know!"

Other than that, I've been sick with some kind of mutant cold since Christmas Eve. It's really putting a kink in my running plans. I ran last Monday and last Tuesday, and that's it. I got too busy on Wednesday, and Thursday night was skating. Friday and Saturday, I just didn't feel up to it. NOt to mention that GA decided to have massive cold front, and it was like 18 degrees in the morning. I did at least get 2 skate sessions in, because I skated on Sunday night as well. If I can get rid of this cough, I will get back to my running. We were debating on a half marathon this spring. I need time to get ready, though.

I hope everyone had a great new year, and I'm looking forward to what 2010 has to bring!