2/1/17 - 3/1/17 | NESHEAHOLIC

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

How to Use Henna for Healthy Hair

This post contains affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here
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Dry, limp, fragile hair is a bummer. I can tell when I haven't been giving my hair the attention it deserves. When my hair starts to break on me I turn to my #1 hair TLC product - henna. Yes, the very same henna that is used for beautiful body art. After trial and error I have my henna routine down to a science. This is how you use the product for strength, shine, softness, and depending on the batch and your hair color, a reddish tint. The color is most noticeable in the sun and gets darker each time you apply the henna. 

I henna my hair about twice a year. I would do it more often but it's an all-day process and it usually takes some time to get that perfect Sunday where I both feel like and have time to do it. 

My henna mixture consists of about 3/4 a box of Jamila brand henna and two heaping spoonfuls of hibiscus petal powder. Hibiscus petal powder serves the purpose of being an acid in the mixture, making the henna's dye release faster, and aids in getting that reddish tint. 

I add not cold, but not hot water to the powders until they make a consistency just a bit thicker than pancake batter. I make the henna paste on Saturday night, then let it sit until Sunday morning. On Sunday morning I co-wash and de-tangle my hair. Wearing gloves and an old t-shirt (this is important, henna will stain your life if you let it lol) I apply the henna similar to the way you would apply hair color. Section by section I start at the ends of my hair, making my way up to the root. Once it's all applied I put on a plastic cap and let it sit for 5-6 hours. 

When it's ready to rinse, I rinse out as much as I can with plain water. I then follow up with rinsing with VO5's strawberries and cream conditioner. Once it's all rinsed out I deep condition with Aubrey Organics Honeysuckle Rose Conditioner for a half our, rinse that out, and proceed to style as usual. Deep conditioning your hair after you henna is very important, as the henna can act like a protein treatment and cause the hair to be hard. 

That's it! Give henna a try on your hair if you're looking to boost your hair health. 
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Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Upgrade Your Water: New Brita vs.Old Brita


I've had something in my refrigerator for more than ten years. As a matter of fact, it has come with me through five addresses. My Brita water pitcher is actually so old that I couldn't even find it online to get the proper item name for it. What can I say, I hold on to things that work for me for as long as they work for me. This includes clothes from high-school that I still wear lol.

I've had a Brita in my refrigerator for as long as I can remember. As a child my grandfather purchased one of the really big 18-cup Brita dispensers after his doctor recommended he get more water for his health. That is where my love affair with Brita began. When I moved out on my own Brita was the only thing I considered as an option for my water. Around 2005 I purchased the Brita pitcher I still have today.

Thankfully, Influenster sent me a new Brita Stream complimentary for testing purposes. I didn't think that I had any problems with my old Brita pitcher, but now that I have the Brita Stream I feel like I have significantly upgraded!

The new Brita Stream is awesome. I can absolutely taste the difference in the water. Hubs didn't believe that there was any difference in the taste of the water from the two pitchers (or in water in general) so we did a blind taste test, and I passed. I could indeed tell the difference.

The Brita Stream solves problems I didn't even know I had with my old Brita.

brita stream


First off, installing a new filter takes much less time and is much more convenient. The filters for my old Brita required you to soak them in a cup for a number of minutes before you could install it in the pitcher, and even then the first few batches of water would always have little filter particles in it. With the Brita Stream you just run the filter under water for 15 seconds, install it, and BOOM, delicious water.

Because the Brita streams filters water as you pour into your glass instead of when you fill the pitcher you can drink filtered water immediately, as apposed to the old Brita where you had to wait for the water to filter through before you could pour it. This also allows you to put ice water in the pitcher for filtering as well.

The technology to remind you to change your filter is totally new, improved and high tech. It used to just be a dial that you set manually. Now there is an electronic monitor that shows a green, yellow, or red light every time you pour so you know how close to needing a new filter you are. I am definitely guilty of going week...maybe even months... past the manual dial reminder. This electronic system should work much better for me.

brita water pitcher


The only thing I dislike about the Stream is the controlled pour. This is actually supposed to be a perk of the pitcher, making it easy to fill water bottles. The majority of the time I'm pouring into a glass, and the pour on the Stream with the controlled pour feature makes the pouring a little bit slow. My ideal situation would be if there was some sort of mechanic that allowed you to switch between controlled pour for bottles and a faster pour for glasses.

brita water pitchers

I don't need two water pitchers so I'll be gifting my old faithful to someone and enjoying my new Brita Stream from now on.

What kind of water are you drinking?

Disclosure: I received the Brita Stream complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes. All opinions are my own. 
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Thursday, February 9, 2017

10 Self-Care Commandments

I'm tired of putting myself last. I've been doing a lot of self-reflection and came up with this list of 10 Self-Care commandments, or guidelines, to keep on top of making self-care a priority. 

self-care

Thou shalt not neglect your self-care.
If you are reading this post you've either already committed to self-care or realize that you need to. That is a good start.

Thou shalt take off from responsibilities when you need to, without guilt.
If you are sick, take off from work. If you are exhausted, have someone else cover your volunteer position, and don't feel bad about it. You can't take care of others if you aren't taking care of yourself.

Thou shalt make time to eat with no distraction at least once a day.
It would really be great if every meal could be 30 minutes of uninterrupted time to leisurely eat, but that is really hard if you are also feeding children, working full-time, commuting, etc. So make an effort to have just one meal a day where you really take time for yourself to focus on your nourishment.

Thou shalt not work past 9pm on something that doesn't have an immediate deadline.
Sometimes life requires late nights. Despite this, you have to give yourself time in the evenings to decompress. If I don't have an immediate deadline I try to stop working at 9pm because I go to bed at 10pm. If you go to bed at 11pm, stop working at 10pm. The goal is to give yourself a work-free hour at the end of your day.

Thou shalt ask for help when you need it.
They say it takes a village to raise a child. It really takes a village to do anything if you don't want to burn out. Your spouse, partner, co-workers, family, friends, babysitters, virtual assistants, etc, should all be resources to you when you are overwhelmed.

Thou shalt say no to taking on more than you can or want to handle, without guilt.
You only have one life and time is not an infinite resource. Say NO more often. When you don't want to or can't accommodate something in your schedule say no, and don't feel bad about it. 

Thou shalt drink water every day.
Drinking water is the cornerstone to healthy eating. Drink more water than any other beverage you consume.

Thou shalt schedule time for yourself. 
It's nice when you fall into free-time, but it is important to schedule time completely for yourself. I mean really schedule it. Put it in your planner or your Google Calendar. Set a reminder on your phone. Really make it a priority. Realistically you may only be able to do this two times a week, but it's important that you schedule it in ahead of time or it may never happen.

Thou shalt not compare yourself to others.
Comparison is a thief of joy. There is no way you can fully enjoy your life if you're consistently wishing you had someone else's. Be inspired by others, but do not compare.

Thou shalt remove yourself from situations that bring negative feelings.
This could mean not sticking around at gatherings with negative energy or logging off of Facebook when the political discussions become too much. Be aware of people, places, and things that bring you down and remove them from your life in whatever way you can.

If you want a daily reminder of the 10 Self-Care Commandments you can download a printable version below:

10 SELF-CARE COMMANDMENTS PRINTABLE


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Sunday, February 5, 2017

Mom Confessions: I took the weekend off



I had SUCH a good weekend.

I've been having a hard time lately feeling stuck in routine and very constrained by my responsibilities. This weekend it felt great to not worry about time or responsibilities and just enjoy being with BabyCakes and Hubs. We played games, played catch and soccer, painted, colored, enjoyed cartoons, and had an overall good time.

It's funny because even though I also cleaned the whole first floor it wasn't a drag. Because my mindset since I got off work Friday was not to worry about things I need to do, I've been cleaned up when I wanted without the pressure of feeling like I NEEDED to get things clean.

You have to take time to recharge in order to succeed.

I hope to take the happiness from this weekend into the upcoming hectic week. I will remind myself to take breaks, and enjoy myself without looking at the clock when I can.



I wish you a week full of self-care, fun moments, periodic disregard for responsibility, smiles, and laughter. 

How was your weekend?



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Saturday, February 4, 2017

Score Sweet Rewards at Walmart with Diet Dr Pepper

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #ColorMeSweet



Earn a $5 Walmart eGift Card when you buy $10 worth of Diet Dr Pepper®! Simply upload an image of your Walmart receipt at DrPepper.com/Walmart showing purchase of $10 worth of Diet Dr Pepper in a single transaction.

Earning rewards is sweet! You know what else is? A FREE digital adult coloring book. Check it out today!
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Thursday, February 2, 2017

Candied Strawberry Martini

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #JustAdd7UP

I am so excited for Valentine’s Day! I love the decor. I love the love. I love the Valentine’s Day themed drinks and treats. Because Hubs and I can’t always afford to get a babysitter, many of our special holidays are spent with an in-home date. In-home dates can be just as special as going out if you put in effort to make things nice. You can make a favorite meal, or order delivery with something special. Take the food out of containers and serve it on nice plates at a candlelit table. You can make a special Valentine’s Day themed drink. Today I’m sharing my recipe for a simple 7UP Love Potion with candied strawberries. The strawberries these are garnished with are like candy apples, but better, because you get the sweet, crunch, and softness all in one bite every time!


7UP Love Potion Ingredients
three handfuls of strawberries
12 ounces of 7UP®
6 ounces of lemonade
blender

Clean and cut the tops off your strawberries and add them to your blender. Pulse just your strawberries until they are pretty well pureed. Add the 7UP and lemonade. Continue to blend until you have a smooth liquid with very little strawberry solids.

At this point, if you have made your drink ahead of time you can chill it in the fridge. If you are in a rush you can shake your Love Potion in a martini shaker with ice to chill it. Serve in martini glasses. This recipe makes four servings.

While it only takes one can of 7UP to yield four servings, if you plan on entertaining you can pick up the 7UP 12oz. 12-pack from Walmart like I did so you have plenty of 7UP on hand. 7UP is really versatile when it comes to adding a pop to drinks and cocktails.

*If you want to kick it up a notch, add 6 ounces of vodka along with the 7UP and lemonade.


Candied Strawberry Recipe
approximately 20 strawberries
2 cups sugar
1 cup water
¼ cup corn syrup

Rinse and cut the tops off your strawberries. Dry them thoroughly. Pierce each one with a toothpick. Line a baking sheet or plate with parchment paper. 

Mix the sugar, water, and corn syrup in a small saucepan. Heat on medium-high until it reaches 300 degrees on a candy thermometer. Stir occasionally until all the sugar is dissolved.  This took about 25 minutes for me. Once the mixture is at 300 degrees remove from heat and dip your strawberries as quickly and safely as you can. Dip as many strawberries as you can before the mixture seizes up on you. At a good pace you should be able to get 15 - 20 strawberries dipped. Allow the strawberries to dry and harden on the parchment paper. 



To garnish your 7UP Love Potion with the strawberries add an additional toothpick to each to balance on the rim of the martini glasses. 



Both of these recipes are super simple and all the ingredients can be picked up at your local Walmart. 


Make your Valentine’s Day festivities special with this 7UP Love Potion!

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Easy Oatmeal Bowl

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #SpoonfulsOfGoodness #CerealAnytime #CollectiveBias

Mornings with a toddler can be very hectic. Anything I can do to get everyone ready, dressed, fed, and out the door efficiently and on time is something I need in my life! I try as much as possible not to sacrifice nutrition for speed. They always say breakfast is the most important meal of the day and that is because it is. It sets your energy and tone for the day.

For a quick, filling, and nutritious breakfast I turn to oatmeal. It is very easy to make oatmeal with fresh ingredients in 10 minutes. For the recipe I'm sharing today I kick my basic oatmeal recipe up a notch with a banana and Post Cereals Raisin Bran topping. It is so tasty, Spoonfuls of Goodness.

easy oatmeal bowl


Ingredients
1/2 cup Old Fashioned oats
1 cup vanilla almond milk
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon maple syrup
a few dashes of cinnamon
half a banana
Post Cereals Raisin Bran Cereal

Note: This ingredient list makes one bowl. You can double or triple the recipe exactly depending on how many people you need to serve. I like my oatmeal thick. If you like a looser oatmeal I'd use 1 1/2 cups vanilla almond milk per serving instead.



Bring the almond milk to a boil. Ddd in the Old Fashioned oats. Cook on medium-low heat for 5-10 minutes, until you can see the oats are cooked through and you have the consistency you want. Stir in maple syrup, cinnamon and brown sugar. Serve topped with Post Cereals Raisin Bran and fresh banana.

oatmeal bowl


Some additional toppings to include are other Post cereals, strawberries, granola or chocolate chips! I like toppings that add crunch or a cool element to the soft and warm oatmeal.




I grabbed all my ingredients including the Post cereals from Walmart. Post cereals contain fiber that prepares your body for the day and keeps you full until lunch.

Post Cereals Raisin Bran contains 23 grams of whole grain and 8 grams of fiber. Plus every box is filled with hundreds of tasty Sun-Maid California raisins.

Honey Bunches of Oats Honey Roasted has an awesome combination of textures and flavors and is very heart healthy with 0 grams of trans fat, saturated fat, and 0 milligrams of cholesterol per serving.

Great Grains has 36 grams of whole grain per serving and 12 vitamins and minerals.



Visit the #CerealAnytime Pinterest Board for more creative ideas on how to have cereal for every meal!

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Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Black History Month Activities for Kids

*This post contains affiliate links. 

Black History Month Activities for Kids

February is Black History Month. I believe that more than ever it is necessary to have adequate curriculum for our children during this month. For Black children, it is important to reinforce the importance and contributions of Black people in the United States, as well as the civil rights we fought for and are still fighting for. For non-Black children it is important to continue to make sure that they know people of color are an important part of this country and its history.

Here are some activities to do with your children during Black History Month (and beyond!)


Read Books

Sit-In: How Four Friends Stood Up by Sitting Down by  Andrea Davis Pinkney. Grades 3 - 6. This picture book is a celebration of the 50th anniversary of the momentous Woolworth's lunch counter sit-in, when four college students staged a peaceful protest that became a defining moment in the struggle for racial equality and the growing civil rights movement. You can get an accompanying worksheet for the book HERE.

 I am Jackie Robinson (Ordinary People Change the World series) by Brad Meltzer. Grades K - 3.

Clumps of Mascara has a great list of books for all ages HERE

Craft

 Make felt or construction paper traffic lights and talk about Garrett Morgan's traffic signal. 

Make some sparkly trumpets in honor of Louis Armstrong. 





Experiment

Do the White Egg vs. Brown Egg activity. Show your children one brown egg and one white egg. Get their predictions on what the inside of the eggs will look like. After you crack them have them fill in this worksheet on how the eggs are different. Spoiler alert: they aren't! The goal is to convey that although we look different on the outside, we are all the same on the inside. An important message right now. 

Make your own peanut butter and talk about George Washington Carver and growing/making your own food. 

Discuss

Talk about Martin Luther King Jr.s dream, your dream for them and the world, and their dreams. 

Talk about the significance of Misty Copeland and watch this documentary or others videos with them. 

I would like this to be an ever-growing list. If you have a Black History Month activity, craft, or recipe please leave it in the comments below and I'll add it to the list! 






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