Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Natural Skincare & Green living: Ways To Reuse Coffee and Make a Coffee Body Scrub

"Hey!!!Don't waste this"!!! These are the words I tend to tell my husband, my kids and my friends when it comes to certain things. I make sure that leftover water and leftover tea are poured on plants and when it comes to coffee it's no exception. So, I just I wanted to take some time to share some of my simple ideas for re-using coffee and hope to learn something from you guys in return!

Picture taken at a local Starbuck!

As a plant lover I learned that coffee and leftover tea, are good plant food!,
Simply pour your leftover coffee on your indoor or outdoor plants. The coffee grounds can also be used as compost. I always make sure to get some extra leftover coffee grounds from the coffee shop. It's great nutrition for acid loving plants and I must say it also seems to do some good to all my indoor tropical plants.

In the kitchen I found that rubbing some coffee on my fingers with ground coffee work as a good odor remover, especially if I had handle fish, garlic or anything smelly.  It works well too in the garbage disposal to deodorize and disinfect.  The leftover coffee can also be used as a fridge deodorizer, simply  place a small bowl filled with fresh coffee grounds in your fridge.
I love the smell of coffee so much that it's my room deodorizer of choice during the winter months. I simply brew some fresh coffee when I need to fill the house with a pleasant aroma! You can actually put some leftover coffee grounds on a cooking sheet and place it in a warm over, but I just prefer brewing.
Leftover coffee can also be used to:

Picture taken at a local Starbuck.
  • Make some frappucino
  • Marinate your meat
  • Replace red wine when cooking meat in recipes calling for wine!
  • Flavor cake or waffle recipes ( replacing milk or water for coffee)
  • Mix with condensed milk and freeze as popsicle.
Replace milk in your smoothy! Deliciouuuus!
Make ice cubes.  Why wait on a super hot coffee to cool down when you can just throw a coffee cube in?!
Well there must be many other ways to use leftover cofee in the kicthen but that's my little tried and true repertoire here!

It's also possible to use leftover coffee as a dye! You can use your leftover coffee to dye paper or fabric to give it an aged look.
Did you know you can also add it to the wash water when you wash your dark color clothes?! It's also a good dye as beauty hair treatment if you have dark hair. Apply about 5-6 cups of leftover coffee to your wet hair and cover and leave it on your hair from about 15-20 mns before rinsing! But it's only a temporary dye I can not claim that it will work like Garnier!

Since I love hanging at perfumes counters and shopping for candles I also learned to use it to trick my olfactory senses. Carry along some leftover coffee beans  or grounds and inhale them after smelling a perfume! It neutralizes the scent of the fragrance you smelled previously and help you to better sense the following fragrance.
And as to my favorite use of leftover coffee grounds, a little messy I should admit but very rewarding, I use it as a scrub! Yep! I love to use leftover coffee grounds as a facial scrub or a body scrub in the shower.

2 cups coarse coffee. I prefer to just recycle the one I freshly brewed
1/2 sea salt or brown sugar. I skip that step most times
3 tbsp. oil such as olive, coconut, sweet almond, jojoba etc
A drop of scented oil of choices. Totally optional!

The only inconvenience is having the grounds over the shower floor and in...well...let's say that I advise wearing a swim suit bikini when you decide to use it as a full body scrub! I don't know if it's the pleasure of rubbing something totally organic on my body, or feeling like I am giving myself what could have been an expensive spa treatment from the comfort of my home, but I love love love the way my skin  feels afterward! It's best to use fresh ground coffee as it still have many of it's antioxidant property when it's fresh. Like 20-30 minutes after you have brewed some since it will need time to cool some.
So before you think it's a messy idea ( I am making a face)give it a try because you might love the way your skin feel afterward, it's worth trying!

So... no need to let that leftover coffee go to waste right?
What do you tend to do with your leftover coffee? If you tried or try to use is as a facial or body scrub please let me know what you think of it as a scrub! Have you heard that it's claimed to remove cellulite when used as a scrub on thighs and legs?

  • N'na

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Natural hair : Tips to maintain your hair While Working out

How to Maintain Your Hair While Working Out
by Omonike Anderson

Note from the Editor.
The weather is now hot and inviting to outdoors activities and many more women are thinking about being more active, working out and losing weight but one frequent deterrent to working out is that sweat is not our hair best friend. There's a way to make peace with you hair and working out so I hope you will benefits from Omonike's tips below.

Many women of color strongly desire a fitness regimen but have no idea what to do with their hair while working out. While hair plays a large role in why workouts are usually left on the back burner, it is essential that we learn how to manage our hair during all circumstances rather than allowing our tresses to manage us.  Take back your life and learn what works best for you and your hair during your workout sessions. Here are some tips that will help maintain the healthy appearance of your hair while giving your body the physical activity that it needs.

Realize that you are already cute! I know I’m not the only one who once recited the phrase, “I want to look cute while working out.” What I had to realize is that my hairstyle did not in any way change my facial structure.  The same face I had when I rocked a beautiful twistout was the same face I had when I rocked a less glamorous style at the gym.  Once you realize that your flyness is not about your hairstyle, but about your confidence and positive attitude, protective styling at the gym becomes more of an option for you.  After all, you’re so fabulous you can pull off any hairstyle! Right? ;-)

Timing is everything: Probably one of the most significant factors to working out is structuring which workouts you will do on what days, what times, and why. Do not underestimate this tip; it requires great thought and strategy.  If your wash days are Saturday afternoons, then Fridays and Saturday mornings will probably be your best bet for vigorous cardio, while other days can be dedicated toward workouts that don’t produce as much sweat. Light workouts include weightlifting, yoga, and walking, while heavy workouts include running, dancing, and jump roping.  This list is not set in stone, so do what works best for you. If it is feasible, try scheduling your workout sessions on your off days or straight after work so that you won’t have to worry about preserving your hairstyle. If you must workout during lunch, do a light workout and save the cardio for your off days.

Prep your hair: If you have somewhere to be after your workout, braid or twist your hair beforehand and take them down post-workout for a nice braidout/twistout. If you plan on going swimming, rinse your hair in the shower and apply conditioner before your swimming session to decrease the amount of chlorine absorbed in your hair. Think of your hair like a sponge. If a sponge is already soaked, the chances of soaking up additional water are slim to none. This is the case when you soak your hair in the shower before entering chlorine water.  Remember that swim caps do not keep your hair dry, but only work to keep your hair out of the way. If your hair is a total disaster after your workout, opt for the cute trendy turban look to save the day!

Keep your hair out of the way: You’ve heard this many times before, but keeping your hair out of the way protects it from the harsh salt that sweat produces.  If you have a TWA, keeping your hair out the way is a simple as investing in a sweatband or mesh cap. Sweatbands control the amount of sweat allowed to seep into your hair and scalp, as well as protects your face from any excess hair product that may drip down and trigger acne. For those of you with a little more length, keep your hair in a high bun or puff on top of your head to prevent the ends of your hair from rubbing against any sweat produced by your nape and/or back.  

Keep your scalp clean: This is important! Sweat contains salt that attaches itself to your hair and scalp, attracting molecules from the environment and creating excess buildup that can clog pores. Think of your scalp like the rest of your skin—because it is! If you take a shower after the gym to rid your skin of the grime that dried sweat often produces, why wouldn’t you cleanse your scalp as well? While it may seem impractical to wash your hair every single day, cleansing at least once a week is a good idea. In the meantime, a tea tree oil and water mix can help alleviate excess scalp buildup because tea tree oil is an antiseptic. Simply add a few drops of tea tree oil to a water-filled spray bottle, soak a cotton ball, and dab your scalp generously.

Use Products That Help! Anti-humectant serums and heat protectants are great products to use during workouts. Anti-humectants act as a water repellent that prevents the intrusion of moisture into the hair during humid environments, while heat protectants protect the hair from the drying properties of sweat. Both products coat and seal the external cuticle layer, reducing chances of frizz and creating a barrier between your sweat and your hair strands.  While there are a ton of commercial products on the market, natural anti-humectants are Shea butter, olive oil, hydrogenated Castor oil, and coconut oil. A great natural heat protectant is grapeseed oil because it can withstand temperatures up to 420 degrees.

Get Practical! There are many cute hairstyles that can withstand a heavy workout session. Take a look and try one of these!

How do you maintain your hair while working out? What's your favorite work-out exercise and how often do you work-out and what is your hair maintenance regimen?

This article was written by the beautiful Omonike Anderson a healthy and inspiring natural. Please share your tips, what work best for you and feel free to Follow the blog, subscribe by email and Like the facebook page.

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Until next time happy health journey to you!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Natural Hair: Hair Journey & Protective Style Jumbo braids

Jumbo braids.

                    My Journey to Jumbo Braids

                                       Larisa Dawkins (aka Nap Risa Py)

            So I’m at an in-between state with my hair….too short and not too long. It is giving me fits… I decided to do some protective styles. I started out getting a wig made, however, as soon as it reached 90 plus degrees outside, I had to forgo the wig!! So, I decided to try a modified “Curly Girl Method”……BIG SIGH…..I hate wash and go’s but I tried it anyway…..I got about a week into that and realized that it was not going to work for me……then, I had an epiphany…..Jumbo Braids!! I started researching on YouTube and found a few channels that had an example of the braids I was looking for. There are several different names for them: Jumbo braids, poetic justice braids, Solange Knowles style braids, etc….. So, I figured why not try it!! The styles looked easy to maintain, versatile (you can wear them in several different styles), long wearing and requires hardly any maintenance (I am natural, but I’m a lazy natural….teeheehee) !!! PERFECT!!
Where did you get the hair and how much did it cost you?
   My first task was to find the hair. I went to my local beauty supply store and asked and wouldn’t you know it…. they actually have braiding hair called, Jumbo Braid hair!! No kidding…but it really is 100% Kanekalon hair and it costs $3.99 per pack. It does come in a variety of colors and most packs were about 18”…. so I got 5 packs. I still wasn’t sure, so I went to another beauty supply store and bought 5 more packs that were 24” long!! I know, what can I say; I live in Texas, so go long or go home!!! LOL!!

How long did it take to braid and how many pack of hair did you use?
Now, I am not a braider, so I asked my resident braid expert, my Niece Meme, how long this would take….she said 3-4 hours…..we started at 11:30pm on a Friday night and did not get finished until 0930 the next morning….yes, you read that right, 10 HOURS!!!!! UGH……let me be honest with you guys, I have a GI-NOR-MOUS head , so we used 9.5 packs of hair and it took 10 hours…..for the average person, I believe it would probably take about 3-4 hours, especially if you went to a professional braider.  But when you are being frugal, and have a tendency to change styles, as fast as I do, you realize you have to forfeit some things!! 
Jumbo braids

How long do you plan on wearing the braids and how do you maintain them?

My goal is to wear the braids for a month…so far so good!! I’ve washed my scalp once so far and it was pretty easy. The challenge is not wet the entire strand of braids, as the drying time will be much longer. But just focusing on the scalp and the length of the braid that intertwines my hair, has worked out well.  Anyone looking for an easy to maintain style that is versatile and long lasting should check out Jumbo Braids!!  And yes, you do need a strong neck!!!

Jumbo braids

The pictures above were kindly provided by Nap Risa. Please do not copy without written consent.