Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Hair Product Haul!!!

Hey scholars! So I am a major product junkie! I love to shop around for new products, whether for my hair, skin, body or nails. This past weekend I went to the store to see what kind of deals they were having and I came across some pretty good deals. 

TRESemme Naturals Silicone-Free Conditioners®:

Nourishing Moisture Conditioner






I just recently used this conditioner after using a clarifying  shampoo. I love it. It really did a great job moisturizing my hair. 






I have not yet used this conditioner but I will use it in the near future and post a review about.





I will definitely stock up on these conditioners!!! They were $3.99 each. 


Organix®:
Moroccan Argan Oil Intense Moisturizing Treatment


Argan Oil is one of my absolute favorite oils. I am looking forward to using this product and posting a review about it. This was $4.29 on sale. 

Cantu Shea Butter®:

Grow Strong Strengthening Treatment

I am very impressed with Cantu's line of products. This is one I have yet to try out so I picked it up for future use. On sale this was $2.79. 


As I Am®:

Coconut Co-Wash



I mostly co-wash instead of doing a regular shampoo and conditioner routine. I have only recently bought a product whose label states it is a co-wash. I usually use a deep conditioner and then follow up with a normal conditioner when co-washing. Again, I have come across many reviews that have recommended this product. It was on sale through Amazon® for $6.99 so I decided to give it a try. The next I co-wash my hair I will use this and post my review.


This is just one of the many hauls I will do that specifically pertain to hair care products. 

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Obsession

Hey scholars! So I am currently obsessed with Bolthouse Farms® Smoothies, Teas and Lattes. On a recent trip to the grocery store I went to pickup the Green Goodness smoothie. As placed it in my cart, I noticed another bottle staring me in the face. I have seen it a number of times before but never bothered to pick it up and see what it was and what was in it. This time it was staring me in the face and called out to me! So I picked it up, read the label and decided to give it a try. Oh my goodness! I did not know what I was missing out on. The Vanilla Chai Tea is perfect. Instead of coffee in the mornings, I crave this drink. I am so hooked. Well, I had to get some more, I mean one bottle just was not enough. This time another called out to me. The Green Tea Soy Latte is heaven on earth. How did I ever get so caught up in the other juices and smoothies from this brand that I passed up these two little angels? Well never again will I pass up the opportunity to make my day a little better by skipping pass my two new friends.

This line is supposed to be a healthy alternative to other drinks that are loaded with high fructose corn syrup and also to help consumers make healthier choices. So let's see what is in these drinks shall we?

Green Goodness:

This is a vegetable and fruit smoothie packed with vitamins, minerals and supplements that we should regularly ingest.



Ingredients:

Apple Juice from concentrate (water, apple juice concentrate,) Pineapple Juice from concentrate (water, pineapple juice concentrate,) Mango Puree from concentrate (water, mango puree concentrate,) Banana Puree, Kiwi Juice, Natural Flavor, Spirulina, Open Cell Chlorella, Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid,)  Lime Juice, Zinc Sulfate, Broccoli, Green Tea, Spinach, Barley Grass, Wheat Grass, Blue Green Algae, Echinacea Purpurea Extract, Odorless Garlic, Tamarind Puree, Dragon Fruit Juice, Lemon Bioflavanoids, Jerusalem Artichoke and Nova Scotia Dulce.

Spirulina is a blue-green algae with a wide-range of health benefits. It is loaded with Beta-Carotene, is a complete source of vegetable-based protein, and is naturally high in B Vitamins. Spirulina also contains Gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), an essential fatty acid.

Nutritional Information:

Serving Size: 8 oz (240mL)
Calories: 140
Total Fat: 0
Cholesterol: 0
Sodium: 25mg
Potassium: 470mg
Total Carbohydrates: 33g
Dietary Fiber: 1g
Sugars: 27g
Protein: 2g
Vitamin A: 120%
Calcium: 2%
Folic Acid: 30%
Vitamin B6: 15%
Manganese: 150%
Vitamin C: 105%
Iron: 15%
Riboflavin: 7%
Vitamin B12: 30%
Zinc: 120%
*** Percent Daily Values based on a 2,000 calorie diet.***

The Taste:

Although it is a weird looking green color with all kinds of stuff in it, it tastes surprisingly good. As far as the taste goes, the fruits are truly the stars. The smell is not too bad either. But it tastes way better than it looks and smells.


Vanilla Chai Tea w/ Soy Protein:





Ingredients:

Soy milk, Brewed Green Tea, Natural Flavors, Vanilla Extract, Apple Juice, Soy Protein Isolate, Calcium, Carrageenan, Vitamin C, Magnesium, Vitamin B6, Zinc, Iron, Vitamin B12.


Nutritional Information:

Serving Size: 8 oz (240 mL)
Calories 160
Total Fat 3 g
Saturated 0 g
Cholesterol 0 mg    
Sodium 80 mg
Potassium 150 mg
Total Carbs 27 g
Dietary Fiber 1 g
Sugars 26 g
Protein 7 g
Vitamin A 0%
Calcium 30%
Vitamin C 100%
 Iron 15%

***Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

The Taste:

The taste is very pleasant. I love the spices and vanilla. To me it is more like a soy nog than tea. Although it is a protein drink, it does not have that gritty texture.

Green Tea Soy Latte:



Ingredients:

Soy Milk From Concentrate (water, soy milk concentrate), Matcha Green Tea (water, matcha green tea), Cane Sugar, Soy Protein Isolate, Natural Flavor, Acacia Gum, Dipotassium Phosphate, Calcium (Tricalcium Phosphate), Carrageenan, Salt, Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid).


Nutritional Information:
Serving Size: 8 oz (240 mL)
Calories 150
Total Fat 3 g
Cholesterol 0 mg    
Sodium 80 mg
Potassium 240 mg
Total Carbs 25 g
Dietary Fiber 1 g
Sugars 24 g
Protein 7 g
Vitamin A 0%
Calcium 30%
Vitamin C 150%
Iron 6%

***Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.


The Taste:

I admit that I was a bit skeptical about tasting this because I do not typically like the taste of green tea. This right here is the business! I love the taste and texture of this latte.

**The teas both contain green tea. Studies have shown that regular consumption of green tea helps to prevent cancer risks, balance cholesterol levels by raising the "good" HDL and lowering the "bad" LDL, and may be used to naturally control blood sugar.**  

Warning:

The downside to all of these drinks is that they are high in sugar, so be careful about throwing back too much of these drinks in one day!



Enjoy!!!


Thursday, March 14, 2013

Homemade Organic Lip Balm

I love lip stuff! Whether it is gloss or balm, I can not get enough. Whenever I shop, I buy stuff for my lips. Needless to say I have a lot of lip gloss and balm. Another thing I always do is look at labels and ingredients. More often than not I find myself coming across stuff and for the life of me I cannot figure out what the hell I am reading! I feel if I cannot pronounce it I probably should not touch it, let alone have it in my body. So I decided why not try my hand at making my own lip balm with ingredients I can pronounce and know what they are. I watched tons of videos and read numerous articles on how to make lip balms. It all seemed so easy and straightforward, so why not? I had almost all the ingredients necessary except beeswax because all of them I use when making my own hair products. So once I had the beeswax and containers I finally gave it shot. Then I started to panic a little (okay, a lot). I started doubting that mine would turn out like it should. But I proceeded to make it anyway. This is my first attempt at making lip balm. It turned out really good. I passed some out to friends and family and they loved it!

The Ingredients:

Raw and Organic Shea Butter
Raw Cocoa Butter
Beeswax
Pure Extra Virgin Coconut Oil
Jamaican Black Castor Oil
Peppermint Oil (or your favorite oil)




Directions:

Fill a pot up with water and set on the stove and start boiling the water.
Measure 1 oz (or 2 tablespoons) of Shea butter, cocoa butter, and beeswax in a place measuring cup.
Also add  1 tablespoon of coconut oil and Jamaican Black Castor Oil.
Place the plastic measuring cup in the middle of the pot.
Let simmer until the butters and beeswax melt. This process could take a little while.
Stir the ingredients.
When everything has melted remove from heat. Turn off the stove. Do not toss out the hot water.
For an added scent/flavor, mix in your favor essential oil.
Just let the mixture cool for a couple of minutes.
Pour the mixture into the tins or tubes. I filled up eight tins!
Let cool for 10-20 minutes so that the mix can set.
Place the measuring cup and any utensils used into the pot of hot water. This will make it easier to remove the wax and butters.
Once the mixture has set, it is ready to use.

The Results:










Enjoy!!!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Homemade Fruit Yogurt Parfait

I prefer to make my own parfait for a couple of reasons: 1. It is more cost effective to buy the ingredients than to buy it already made. If I buy all the ingredients myself, I can make a parfait several times over. 2. All granola is not healthy for you. Most granola is loaded down with carbohydrates and sugar. 3. I get to choose which fruits I want in my parfait!

I use BEAR NAKED FIT® Vanilla Almond Crunch Granola. It has only 4 grams of sugar and the ingredients include whole grain oats, almonds, and ground flax seeds. To get my chocolate fix in I use BEAR NAKED FIT® Heavenly Chocolate Granola. It is made of rich dark chocolate, whole grain oats and honey. Both are made of 100% pure and natural granola!

Ingredients:

I use fat free Greek Yogurt. Sometimes I will use plain and other times I use Vanilla Greek Yogurt. I buy four different fresh fruits such as strawberries, raspberries, blackberries and blueberries.



Directions:

I put a couple of scoops of yogurt in a bowl. I then pour a little bit of the granola cereals on top of the yogurt. After rinsing the fruit, I cut up about four strawberries into fours and put them in the bowl. Then top with some blackberries, raspberries and blueberries. 

The Result:




Enjoy!!!


Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Whipped Shea Butter Mixture

Shea Butter is found in the tropics of Africa. It contains many vitamins such as A, E, and F. Vitamins A and E help to keep skin clear and healthy by preventing premature wrinkles and facial lines. Vitamin F is a skin protector and rejuvenates the skin. It keeps skin from being dry, chapped and rough. Shea Butter helps to keep the hair moisturized and restores luster, protecting it from becoming dry, brittle and damaged. It may be used as a treatment for a dry scalp by absorbing and re-hydrating without clogging the pores.

Cocoa Butter derives from the pressing of the cocoa nib from cocoa beans. Historically, cocoa butter has been used to soften the skin and to soothe skin burns. When used on the hair, cocoa butter can increase moisture, prevent hair loss due to breakage. It may also help alleviate an itchy scalp and irritation while preventing chemical damage (for chemically treated hair). As it keeps the scalp healthy, it promotes healthy hair growth. A healthy scalp leads to hair growth! It will also infuse volume and strength to strands of hair if used on a regular basis. Cocoa butter improves hair texture as well as keep hair from becoming frizzy and unmanageable.

I am a product hoarder to the max! I also enjoy making my own products for my hair and skin (body and face). My Shea butter mixture is something I have been making for a while and have enjoyed using different ingredients until I found the perfect mixture for my hair.

The Ingredients:





5 ounces 100% Pure Unrefined Organic Raw Shea Butter
2 ounces Cocoa Butter
2 tablespoons Coconut Oil
1 teaspoon Olive Oil
1 tablespoon Jamaican Black Castor Oil
1 teaspoon Jojoba Oil
1 teaspoon Vitamin E Oil
1 teaspoon Argan Oil

Directions:

Place the butters and the coconut oil into a glass bowl. Using a hand mixer, mix until slightly smooth. Then place the rest of the oils into the bowl. Mix until completely smooth. Place the mixture into a jar with a tight lid.

End result:






Monday, March 11, 2013

Green Monster Spinach Smoothie

Lately I have been on a smoothie kick. Between classes, work and all the other things I have going on, it can be hard to sit down and eat a meal. It is easy for me to whip up a smoothie and take it on the go. I wanted to make a smoothie that incorporated some kind of vegetable and not just fruits. Pinterest has been amazing; I have found all kinds of recipes for smoothies as well as other foods. I came across this Green smoothie. I have bought green smoothies from the store and have thoroughly enjoyed them. I must admit that when I saw this I was a bit skeptical about how it would taste. When I made it, I was really impressed. In fact it has become one of my favorite smoothies to make and it is filling without making me feel really full.

Ingredients:

1 Frozen Banana
1 tablespoon peanut butter
1/2 cup Vanilla Greek Yogurt (Fat Free)
1 cup Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Breeze Milk
4 cups Baby Spinach

Directions:

Combine all of the ingredients into a blender (I use a Ninja). Blend until smooth.


Enjoy!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Whipped Mango Butter Mixture

Originating from southern Asia and found in warm, tropical climates such as Burma and India, the mango is a natural emollient that helps to maintain moisture in the skin as well as the scalp, thus, promoting hair growth. Mango butter possesses similar qualities to Shea and cocoa butters in terms of consistency and benefits for hair and skin, however; mango butter has much higher levels of fatty acids which makes it a more intensive moisturizer. The vitamins and antioxidants found in mango butter are A,C, and E. These are found in incredibly high levels. For, example, 80 percent of the recommended daily intake of vitamin C is found in one cup of mangoes. One cup of mangoes contain 25 percent of the daily intake. Studies have shown that these two vitamins are essential for healthy hair and hair growth. Mango butter is a natural and effective sunscreen for the hair. It shields hair from harmful UV rays, protecting hair and scalp from sun damage!

After hearing so many great things about mango butter, I decided to buy some and come up with my own mixture that I could use for my skin and hair.

The Ingredients:

5 ounces Mango Butter
3 ounces Shea Butter
1 Tablespoon Jamaican Black Castor Oil
1 Tablespoon Coconut Oil
1 teaspoon Argan Oil
1 teaspoon Vitamin E Oil
1 teaspoon Jojoba Oil
1 teaspoon Avocado Oil

Directions:

Place the butters and coconut oil in a glass bowl. Using a mixer, mix together the butters and coconut oil until they are slightly smooth. Then add in the oils. Continue to mix until the mixture is smooth and creamy.

Place the mixture in a jar that has a tightly sealed lid.

End result:










Enjoy!

Travel Bucket List

Hey scholars, I am in the process of renewing my passport. I cannot believe it has been ten years since I got it. Thinking back to when I...