Saturday, October 21, 2017

[Weekend Plans] It's Time to Stylize Your Fridge.

ismail Alminda | 1:47 PM
We're in the last quarter of the year. And, like clockwork, I always dedicate the last 90 days or so towards decluttering and improving my home environment. Last weekend I was inspired by an image of this perfectly organized fridge.  Immediately, I wanted to recreate my own version of this at home.

Do you remember MTV cribs back in the day?  It  featured various celebrities who willingly gave us a glimpse into their opulent homes.  Whenever we got to their kitchen, every one of them opened up their fridge to show us what was inside. Most of the time, their fridges were pretty empty.  Who needs to do any grocery shopping when you have celebrity chefs preparing your meals?  Even though they didn't use their fridge to store food, they almost always kept an organized assortment of various beverages on deck.  

Their fridges didn't look like ours mainly because theirs were super-organized. I'm sure they enlisted the help of some eager assistant to transform their fridge for national tv.  I've always wanted an ultra organized fridge but never took any action towards it.  This weekend, that all changed.
Between now and 2018, I vow to take on small weekend projects that improve my life in one way or another.  This weekend was dedicated towards organizing my fridge.  


Because I'm on a mission to raise my vibration.  I believe there are legit benefits to be had by organizing our fridge.  Ever stay in a really nice luxury hotel?  One thing you might notice is their ever-so-perfectly stocked fridge.  They do this for two reasons:

1.) So you can indulge in snacks and beverages at insane markups. 
2.) To enhance the feeling of abundance that comes with the full high-end experience. 

Don't you want to recreate the feeling of abundance every time you open your fridge?  Well you can. And it's easy to do so.  All it takes are a few tools to help you get your organization project underway.  A few days ago, I visited Amazon and bought a starter set of 3 fridge organizers.  They arrived days later and my weekend project began.    

This small, deliberate action is going to create a slew of benefits.
1. All my food is visible and organized which means less spoilage and waste.  
2. I eat healthier when my fridge is in order. When it's a mess, I tend to go for take out.
3. Every time I open the fridge, I get a tiny jolt of energy. Not literally, but mentally. Subconsciously, every time I see my newly organized fridge, I reaffirm that this was an intention which is now become reality.

It's such a small gesture that makes a world of difference.  Next on the wish list are bins that will proudly display my veggies.  I watched a slew of videos of others who've successfully stylized their fridge and got a ton of ideas.

Check it out. 


Thursday, October 19, 2017

Drink this if you want to ramp up the calorie burning effects of your workouts.

ismail Alminda | 12:03 PM
I love hacks! Any little tweak that can improve my results, I'm all for it!  Today I've learned something that I have to share with you.  Recently, I've started working out again and I want to see the fruits of my labor as soon as possible.  I wondered if there was a way to maximize each workout for enhanced results, and I think I've stumbled on the answer.

What I discovered today could change everything.  It doesn't require extra time in the gym. In fact, adding one simple beverage to your daily routine could help you lose more weight than working out alone.
Here's the deal.  You may have heard that drinking green tea has a slew of benefits.  But did you know that it's scientifically proven to help you lose more weight when paired with a workout plan?

Here's what happened.

They enlisted women to partake in the study who were broken up into four subgroups:

GROUP 1/ Drank a powdered green tea drink 2X a day.
GROUP 2// Given a placebo to drink 2X a day (not green tea).
GROUP 3// Drank powdered green tea 2X a day & weight trained at the gym.
GROUP 4// Weight trained at the gym and drank placebo (not green tea).

The researchers wanted to see if combining green tea with a workout regimen made a difference did!
The ladies who strength trained and enjoyed green tea during the day were rewarded with a higher resting metabolic rate (RMR) than their counterparts who performed the exact same workout routine.  I don't know if you're aware but your resting metabolic rate holds the key to life! Ok, maybe I'm being a bit over dramatic.....but I'm not. 

You know how some people are able to eat burgers and down milkshakes and not gain a pound. Those lucky individuals enjoy what we refer to as a "super high metabolism." All that means is that their bodies naturally burn up a lot of calories even when they're at rest (resting metabolic rate).  A person with a high RMR can spend a day lounging around and still burn a bunch of calories doing so.

I was researching how to raise my resting metabolism and this study came up.  Obviously, our resting metabolic rate will rise whenever we incorporate a workout routine, but adding green tea will give you a slight edge.  In fact, the "green tea" group burned an average of an extra 60 calories a day more versus their placebo counterparts.  This may not sound like much but, every calorie counts and it all adds up.  Burning an extra 1800 calories a month without put in the extra effort sounds like the ultimate hack.  Another thing we should note is that the green tea workout group experienced an increase in strength which means they were able to lift more, which leads to even more calories burned while resting.

I've already talked about how green tea helps suppress appetite.  Add this to the list of reasons why green tea is so beneficial to your health/fitness journey.

If you want to give this a try, I recommend that you drink the green on an empty stomach.  That's because of another study which discovered that the active compound in green tea (EGCG) is better absorbed when taken without food.  Those who consumed green tea on an empty stomach experienced much greater levels of EGCG (3x4 higher) in the bloodstream hours after the tea was consumed.  Maybe this might convince you to swap out coffee for green tea, even if just for a few days a week.

Y'all need to jump on this green tea wagon.  If green tea good enough for Meagan Good, it's good enough for us.


Tuesday, October 17, 2017

"Witch hazel is the truth!" Megan Milan shares her holy grail skin product & the ab workout that "gets your stomach together."

ismail Alminda | 7:06 AM
How was your weekend?  The highlight of my Saturday night was doing some light housework while jumping on random Instagram lives.  When the notification came in that Megan Milan was live, I decided to join.

It was pretty casual with no real agenda. She did the IG live to give a quick update to her fans and answer questions in the comments.  I sat patiently and waited for the person to ask the question that has been on my mind since I first seen a pic of her.  Megan's skin is amazing.  I couldn't believe that no one asked her to divulge her secrets.

I waited long enough, I finally jumped in her comments and asked her to reveal her favorite skin products. As soon as she read my question, her whole demeanor changed. Suddenly, her voice was full of excitement and energy like she was waiting for someone to ask.
She responded by saying, "my skin favorite product is witch hazel. Witch hazel! Witch hazel!" Megan continued on with a story.  "Once I had these stress-induced breakouts that were so bad that I thought I might need to see a professional."   Mind you, Megan is an aspiring model so having clear skin is an absolute must.  She tried all these natural products and nothing worked until she tried witch hazel.  Soon her skin cleared all the way up and she's been singing the praises of witch hazel ever since. The other product Megan gave props to was coconut oil.  She uses all natural coconut oil as a moisturizer.  Let's add her to the list of beauties who attribute their glowing skin to coconut oil.

So what's so special about witch hazel?  One website proclaimed that witch hazel as one of the most powerful natural acne treatments known to man.  It's a powerful astringent with the ability to kill acne-causing bacteria.  Witch hazel is an amazing toner that can remove excess oil deposits and clear out pores.  Did I mention that witch hazel is also an antioxidant?  Not only is your skin getting the anti-inflammatory, acne-fighting benefits, but you there's also the anti-aging factor due to the antioxidant component.  That's what makes witch hazel so amazing. After Megan revealed her favorite product, a bunch of other people in the chat co-signed on how witch hazel helped them.

I had a few pesky little breakouts so I decided to give witch hazel a try.  I pulled out a bottle buried deep in my product closet. For the last couple of days, witch hazel was my main astringent and, I'm happy to say, that I'm completely acne free this morning.  Let's not forget that witch hazel also has the power to help create this type of transformation.  Yay for witch hazel!   Thanks Megan!!!
The other pressing question that several people asked Megan was regarding her signature lip color you often see her wearing in most of her pics (NSFW).  It's a deep wine color that looks amazing on her skin.  Megan confirmed that she has one lip color that she pretty much wears all the time -- Stilla's all day liquid lipstick in Chianti.  Stilla boasts of 6 hours of budge-free longlasting wear.  It's also infused with vitamin E and avocado oil to help keep lips moisturized.  Even after eating and drinking Chianti still looked great on her in the video.  But instead of the rich plum color, it had faded into more of a muted mauve shade.

Lastly, Megan was asked to share her favorite workout for toned abs. Without skipping a beat, she blurted out "Russian twists.... that's all you have to do and it gets your stomach together." I had no idea what Russian twists were so I headed over to Youtube for a visual.  Anyone who's done Russian twists before know that this is a total ab workout.  It strengthens your all parts of your core. It's obviously an awesome oblique exercise, but this movement also targets your main abdominal muscles as well.  And, if you make sure to pull your stomach in during the workout, you'll also engage your transverse abdominal muscles (your inner corset).   Russian twists also involve a lot of back and spine movement so if you have any back issues, you may want to skip this one.

Check out 4 ways to do the Russian Twist from beginner to advanced level. 


Monday, October 16, 2017

Let's Talk About Journaling to Maximize Manifestation.

ismail Alminda | 9:31 AM
Happy Monday.  I hope your weekend was amazing.  I spent most of Sunday organizing and decluttering.  Whenever I spend a little time organizing, I'm always rewarded. Sometimes it's in the form of a few dollars found in the pocket of a pair of jeans.  Other times, I'm reunited with a long lost item I thought I'd never see again.

Yesterday was no exception.  But instead of finding cold hard cash, I stumbled on a brand new journal that I purchased years earlier.  Apparently, I planned on taking journaling seriously again but somehow fell short.  Since then, I've sat through various seminars where people shared amazing stories about how journaling has changed their life.  They've used the journaling process to manifest wonderful results.  That's the journey that I would like to embark on.  And here's how I'm going to do it.
Unfortunately for me, I've never purchased a journal manifesting course so I don't know the exact process that others used to obtain their results. So I'm going to create my own ritual and tweak it along the way.

I've journaled before, but I used it more as a diary.  This time will be a bit different.

One of the essential components of my new and improved journal is a "monthly log."  Basically, it's the place where I capture the main highlights of the month.  Sometimes, things are going really well, my weight is in check, my hair is thriving and my skin is flawless. Then I ask myself, "what have I been doing to create these results?"  I think long and hard and can't pin down the exact actions I took to get there.  There have been times when I look back at a pic and wonder what my routine was back then.  With this monthly, log, I can quickly go back and review a record of my past activity at a glance.

The next component that must be incorporated in the journaling for manifestation process is expressing gratitude.  This is crucial.  Without gratitude, the manifestation process is stifled. Gratitude keeps us in a state of expectation because we're conscious of all the wonderful things transpiring in our life.  Expressing gratitude also makes us feel good. This is absolutely necessary if you're participating in the act of manifestation. It also helps us get through the mental barriers that we sometimes have when we're in the process of manifesting a "bigger" intention.  As we express gratitude, it's important to remember that the things we're now grateful were once desired intentions.

Since this is a manifesting journal, the overall theme is that we are ALWAYS in the creation process (Always Be Creating).  As such, it's important to jot down the all of the manifestations that happen on a regular basis.  That's what this journal is for.

I don't just want to be a passive observer in the process, I want to be actively engaged in the act of creation. So, I'll partake in what I call "deliberate acts of creation."  Let's say, you're inspired by an image of a beautiful interior. You could think to yourself, "I'd love to live in a place like that one day." Or, you can ask, "what can I do right now (or this week) to bring my current reality one step closer to where I want to be?"  Active creation is about taking the necessary steps that activate the creation process.  The last thing you want to do is sit around an visualize all day without doing anything about it.  I plan on adding action items on my daily to-do list from the active creation brainstorming process.  This way, I'm doing something on a regular basis that contributes towards making my visions a reality.

Last, but not least, I'll need to add a component that helps me manifest my big dreams and goals.  The reason why I haven't  reached my big goals is because I've taken very little action to allow them to manifest.  As I update my journal, one the tasks will be to give an account of what I'm doing (or what I will do) to make sure that my long-term goals become real.

The point is to keep our long-term (and semi-long term) goals at top of mind.  I'm convinced that the #1 reason why we don't accomplish our big goals is 'cause we rarely bring them into our current reality.  We keep them segmented away from our daily lives and we don't do anything to ensure they actually happen.  When I journal, one objective is to jot down ways to incorporate my big dreams into deliberate acts of creation.

Let's see if this actually works.  I've done this process before with voice recordings but haven't actually been disciplined in the act of writing it down.  We've all heard that writing things down is a powerful process.  I hope that in 2018, I can proudly say that I'm one of those people who journal every day and that it's changed my life!


Sunday, October 15, 2017

How To Grow Your Nape Area Long and Healthy

ismail Alminda | 8:32 AM

  What’s nape hair? It’s that section of your head we have labeled as the kitchen, although I can’t see why since everyone loves the kitchen, Well in all accuracy they usually love what comes out of it: cookies and puddings, cakes, chicken… well I digress but don’t you think it’s a bit funny how […]

The post How To Grow Your Nape Area Long and Healthy appeared first on Black Hair Information.

from Black Hair Information

Saturday, October 14, 2017

How to Use Combing Cream for Long Natural Hair Growth

ismail Alminda | 1:31 AM
How to Use Combing Cream for Long Natural Hair Growth
These curls are only about to get longer....
Sis, get in here. We need to talk about combing cream and your length goals.

Fall is officially here, and colder months always kick off protective styling stints, and more vigilant care in hopes of acquiring a few inches before spring. I'm right there with you. I'm finally ready to call my hair 100% free of hair color damage, and it's about that time to start adding inches.

In my quest for hangtime, I've decided to incorporate a new product from Zotos Professional - the 180PRO Length Revival Combing Cream. What is it exactly? How does it work? And where does it fit in your regimen to promote growth?

Don't worry, I got you. Let's dive in and break down this game changer for #lengthgoals!

How to Use Combing Cream for Long Natural Hair Growth - 180 PRO Length Revival Combing Creme
My new secret weapon - 180PRO Length Revival Combing Cream
What is Combing Cream?
Combing cream is a multi-use, lotion-like product that serves several functions in a natural hair routine. Borrowed from the women of Brazil, combing cremes have gained popularity among naturalistas in the US thanks in large part to how flexible and effective it is. Combing creams are known for having intense slip, which reduces the friction against the hair to make detangling a breeze. They're also known for their moisturizing and frizz fighting properties.

Where Does Combing Cream Fit in My Natural Hair Routine?
Between pre-poos, shampoos, co-washes, rinse-out conditioners, deep conditioners, oils, rinses, moisture mists, refreshers, balms, butters, and edge controls - the average natural's regimen is packed full of product. But what if I told you combing cream could easily replace 3 products in your regimen?

How to Use Combing Cream for Long Natural Hair Growth - 180 PRO Length Revival Combing Creme
Up close and personal with the 180PRO Length Revival Combing Cream
Yes ma'am! It surely can. If you're not pressed for length, but want to reap the benefits of replacing a few products in your regimen with one powerhouse product, jump ahead to the video breaking down the 3 ways I use 180PRO Length Revival Combing Cream.

But if you're on a hair growth quest, let's get down to the nitty gritty.

Combing Cream for Hair Growth
When it comes to maximizing healthy hair growth and achieving length goals, there are two major factors - actual hair growth from the scalp, and length retention. Personally, I believe length retention is more important than the actual rate of hair growth - and here's why. Often times, when we feel like our hair isn't growing, length retention efforts (or lack thereof) are to blame. When we focus too much on increasing rate of growth and don't give enough attention to proper maintenance, the hair we did grow ends up breaking and keeping our length stagnant - creating the illusion that our hair isn't growing.

How to Use Combing Cream for Long Natural Hair Growth - 180 PRO Length Revival Combing Creme
These four will have your hair RIGHT!
My philosophy - barring major medical conditions, our hair is going to grow. Proper maintenance and care will ensure the growth is visible.

And this is where 180PRO Length Revival Combing Cream is about to change the game.

It's no secret that our kinks, coils, and curls are structurally weaker than straight hair - hence how we comb, brush, style, and handle our hair gently (or at least, we're supposed to). Look at a peice of your hair in the mirror. Did you know that each bend along the strand is a structural weak point and hotspot for breakage? And detangling is where our hair is the most vulnerable.

180PRO Length Revival Combing Cream eliminates the fuss and drama notoriously associated with detangling our natural hair. Whether you use a comb, brush, or your fingers, combing cream lubricates and coats the strands with lightweight moisture and slip - protecting the hair from damage caused by friction during detangling.

How to Use Combing Cream for Long Natural Hair Growth
Pre-pooing with 180PRO Length Revival Combing Cream
In addition to moisturizing, softening, detangling, and priming the hair, 180PRO Length Revival Combing Cream works alone or in conjunction with the Length Revival Shampoo, Conditioner, and Miracle Repair Damage Eliminator to fortify and strengthen hair that is prone to breakage, dryness, and damage. This is major for naturals experiencing increased breakage and thinning due to excessive use of heat or color.

3 Ways to Use Combing Cream in Your Natural Hair Regimen
As I mentioned previously, 180PRO Length Revival Combing Cream is a multi-use product that can easily replace 3 or more products in your hair routine. Here's how I've used it in mine:

Pre-Shampoo Detangling Treatment
As a rule of thumb, I always detangle before shampooing. Even the slippiest shampoos sometimes can't safely unravel all of my tangles, and detangling prior to sudsing helps ensure a fuss-free wash day. Because the 180PRO Length Revival Combing Cream is packed with slip, it lubricates the shaft of the hair, allowing strands to glide past each other and release tangles with ease. As a result, I'm able to manipulate my hair while shampooing without causing breakage and damage.

Leave-In & Curl Primer
Y'all know I love me a good leave-in. Leave-ins are a key ingerdient in the secret sauce of a great wash and go style. They help capture your curl pattern in it's most hydrated state, helping your curls ascend to epic levels of washing and going. For highly textured kinks, coils, and curls, 180PRO Length Revival Combing Cream offers lightweight moisture and continued detangling while capturing the curl pattern for styling.

But here's why I'm really about to go peak #lengthgoals:

How to Use Combing Cream for Long Natural Hair Growth - 180 PRO Length Revival Combing Creme
These two are a must-have for naturals who use heat often or have color treated hair.
It involves Miracle Repair Damage Eliminator, which you guys know I love dearly. (receipts) As my primer and leave-in duo, I combine Miracle Repair Damage Eliminator and Length Revival Combing Cream because the two are formulated to work together - binding to the weakest spots along the hair shaft to prevent breakage. The Pro-Peptide complex proteins target and reinforce the hair's weakest points like a magnet of sorts, protecting against breakage while conditioning the hair. Basically, the two help my hair not break off - whether I'm combing, brushing, or letting it all hang out!

Plus, I've found the two are incredibly gel friendly, mixing with some of my favorite gels sans white, goopy balls and flakes.

How to Use Combing Cream for Long Natural Hair Growth
Healthy curls! Used 180PRO Length Revival Combing Cream as my leave-in
Even if my hair isn't begging and screaming for moisture, I make it a habit to put something water-based on it on days 2, 3, 4, and sometimes 5 (if I let it go that long). Hydrated hair is less prone to breakage, and 180PRO Length Revival Combing Cream is lightweight enough to not make hair feel oil or greasy while hydrating, and enhancing shine. Plus, you still reap all the breakage-fighting benefits!

Oh and here's a bonus - if you've got a bit of a gel cast still on day 2, you can use the combing cream to break it while leaving hair soft and not disrupting the curl pattern!

The 180PRO Length Revival Combing Cream and the entire Length Revival Collection is available exclusively at Sally Beauty.

Alright now, I done gave y'all the secret sauce. Check for me in April 2017 - my comparison pics are about to be pahhhhhhpin! What are you doing differently this fall to help retain length? Let me know in the comments below!

This blog post is sponsored by Zotos Professional.

from The Mane Objective

Friday, October 13, 2017

[Style Edit ] My Vintage Store Shopping List

ismail Alminda | 11:59 AM
One of my favorite past times is driving to the other part of town and check out the rare finds at my favorite thrift store.  Thrifting became a tradition for me back in middle school when my mom first introduced me a huge thrift store that was always packed on the weekends. 

For her, it was a way of saving a few extra dollars on purchases that would normally cost much more. But I fell in love with thrifting because of the unique items that I wouldn't come across in your typical retail store.  I had an eclectic taste in clothing so the thrift store became my favorite place. A couple years ago, I purchased several amazing outerwear pieces from the thrift shop that I absolutely love. 

I'm way overdue for another trip, but this time, I've got a laundry list of exactly what I want.  Let's discuss.

I have this weird hangup about cutting up items that I pay full price for.  But, if it only costs a few bucks, I don't mind experimenting.  I'm on the lookout for an oversized sweatshirt to alter.  I'd like to give it a cropped look similar to what Kerrueche's wearing.  It may not be as revealing in the mid-drift, but I'd love something similar.  I dig how both the waist and sleeves are tailored to give the top and added element of style.  She paired it with a simple skinny jean and statement heels. The entire look appears understated yet very well put together. 
Next on my purchase list is plain stripped men's button-up shirt.  We've seen effortlessly Rihanna pull off this look. I'd like to try and replicate it. I'll experiment using a man's shirt to see if it gives me enough wiggle room to tie at the waist or leave a few of the top buttons undone without being too revealing.  If that doesn't work out, I could always have it tailored as a cropped button-up shirt.

Jean trends are now leaning more towards high waisted, looser fitting cuts.  And whenever there's a new trend, they always want to charge you an arm and a leg. Especially when we're talking about jeans.  Chances are the "newest trend" is has probably been done before and it's sitting on a thrift store rack for a few dollars.  Notice how she removed the hem of the jeans to give it a more modern take.  That's an easy DIY project that can be done in minutes and will save you lots of money. 

I'm on a mission to acquire a small collection of interesting skirts.  Thrifting will be an integral component of ensuring the success of the plan. Now that I've linked up with a tailor that I absolutely love, I plan on broadening my horizon.  I want a multitude of skirts in various lengths, patterns, and fabrics.  They'll all be paired with graphic tees to keep the look simple.  If you still enjoy mild weather during the fall months, consider adding stylish skirts to your fall style looks.

If your wardrobe consists mainly of staple items, I invite you to take a step into the unknown by venturing into the world of printed outwear.  Patterened outerwear was made for people like us.  We like to stick to neutral colors and basic items.  The only way to add a bit of flair is by tossing on a coat that was made to draw attention.  Outerwear can get pretty pricey, especially if you are going for one with bold details.  That's why thrifting is your best bet!  It's much more affordable which means that we can step out of our comfort zone by picking up a few different options.  I have enough black and neutral coats. It's time to acquire one that will grab attention the minute I walk into a room. Again, tailoring is important to ensure the fit is perfect. 

This is just the start.  The thrift store is also the perfect place to find one of a kind accessories.  Best of all, it doesn't break the bank which means more money in your pocket to really diversify your wardrobe.


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