Thursday, March 23, 2017

What's In My Bookshelf?



Hey Mocha Family,

Do you get overwhelmed with homeschooling sometimes?  I do!  Looking through my bookshelves really helps me remember where we've been and how much we've accomplished.  I thought it would be fun to share my collection with you!



Be blessed!

Saturday, March 18, 2017

5 Month Lock Update | Taming Frizz, Smoothing Edges, Oiling Scalp



Hey Mocha Family,

Hard to believe it's already been five months with these locks!  The biggest change for me this month is how much I like the way my hair looks and feels.  Everything has pretty much locked and I am loving it. There's no more unravelling, so I rinse my hair as much I like.  Life is sweet!

Sometimes I wonder if my hair has really changed all that much since last month, or if by ditching my wraps and hats I was forced to grow more comfortable with the way my locks look.  Now I am thinking it may have been better to force the issue sooner.  What do you think?  I'd be interested in hearing your thoughts.  Please take a moment to leave a comment.



Be blessed!

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Do We Do Too Much For Our Kids? | Raising Brats



Hey Mocha Family,

Do you feel the pressure to make your kids happy?  Are you running all over town making sure they capitalize on every possible opportunity?  Are you glad they have so much more than you did growing up?  Is everything we do producing wonderful kids or are we just raising brats?



Join me in the conversation by leaving a comment or contributing to the discussion on YouTube.



Be blessed!

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Best Fitness Advice Ever | Get Your Body Back



Hey Mocha Family!

I hope this video makes you chuckle.

Truth be told, I had to stop lying to myself.  I don't love muscle pain and so working out effectively is something I dread.  For years I would do workouts without really pushing myself.  There was a time I wasn't breaking much of a sweat.  Yet, I'd feel so discouraged that I wasn't toning up and losing any fat.  I really believed that something was different about my body and that what works for others just wouldn't work for me.

The truth is that I just wasn't working hard enough!

You get what you work for and when I stopped lying to myself the results came.

If I decide to show up, then I'd better work!  I needed to stop wasting my time.

In the video I am working out to Kinect Training which is an XBOX Kinect personal training program.  I set it to meet my fitness goals and the Kinect monitors my movements and instructs me.  It's like having a digital personal trainer.  I really like it and am disappointed that XBOX isn't making Kinect anymore.  If you already have a Kinect, you can get the program online.

Be blessed!

Sunday, March 5, 2017

I interlocked My Roots Again | Semi Free forming?



Hey Mocha Family,

The video above is a close look at my locks after a recent retightening.  I used the nappy locks tool which is pictured in the thumbnail.  I wanted to come here and share why I prefer semi free forming over interlocking, and this situation is a good example of why I keep this blog going.  I could make a separate video, but for the sake of the people who aren't truly interested is my lock process, I think this is a better avenue for going deeper into a video topic while keeping the video itself at a reasonable length.



I have two primary reasons for interlocking my hair.  First, my hair texture is fine with the areas from my ears down to my nape in the back and right above my ears on the sides of my head being loosely curled and silky.  These areas typically shows length faster while being less prone to breakage. The rest of my hair is a tightly coiled cork screw type structure about the size of the coils you see inside a pen.  These textures created unique obstacles for me when my hair was loose with styling/wet sets and locking is no different.  For starter locks the looser texture slips out of most everything except interlocking. Braids did work well to hold the loose texture, but my hair was much longer when I started my first set of locks.  I think back combing would have worked as well.



My second reason is scalp maintenance.  I have mentioned on a number of videos that I am managing a chronic scalp condition which I am assuming is seborrheic dermatitis (I've never been diagnosed but my brother has, and our scalps are similar).  There are prescribed steroids and shampoos I can try, but I like to manage it as naturally as I can and have seen tremendous improvement over the years. However, it has never completely healed.  My scalp can be scale free, but if I deviate from my routine, the flakes return. Part of my routine includes rinsing my scalp a minimum of every other day and shampooing at least twice a week.



With my first set of locks I started semi free forming accidentally.  My scalp was super sensitive from the lack of frequent styling.  One month I interlocked my roots too tightly by mistake.  The pain was unbearable but I could do nothing to alleviate the discomfort until my roots grew out a little.  I also struggled to work around big buds and found that I was creating a sausage effect in my lock structure. This wasn't a problem with every lock but I couldn't figure out what I was doing wrong.  I read somewhere that the tight pinched looking areas (like where the sausage links are joined) would be weak spots in my locks down the line.  I found this alarming, though I never developed any problems. I hated the sausage look. Many weeks passed after that painful retightening but I couldn't drum up the courage to retighten again.  I dreaded suffering through that kind of pain again.



Surprisingly I really liked the way my hair looked with the loose, thick roots.  I loved the new fullness and not having to devote time to interlocking my roots.  Once or twice a year I found it necessary to interlock the locks around my hairline.  This kept their bases thick and strong.  I left the rest of my hair alone and loved it.  With this second set I chose interlocking to start my locks because I knew that it would provide the best hold for my short hair.  My first set of locks were started with braids, but I knew that braids would not hold since my silky areas had also been tapered short with my TWA.  The super short braids would easily unravel during my frequent washes.  I've interlocked those areas a number of times as they tend to slip.  In my fourth month they have been holding through washes and felt significantly more locked.  New growth has been the issue.



The weight of longer locks effectively held the new growth in place with my first set.  This time around the shorter locks (some only .5 - 1.5 inches long) were sticking out from more than an inch of silky new growth.  In those areas more and more loose strands slipped from their bases every day.  I realized that interlocking the roots would keep these hairs in their base.  I could have stopped there and perhaps in the future I will.  For the sake of uniformity I interlocked my entire head.  The longer locks would have been fine if left alone.  Maybe I'm still paranoid about interlocking my roots too tightly.  I feel a tiny bit of pressure at the roots but no pain.  Next time I won't do as many rotations.  I can see my scalp in some areas, which I don't love.



My plan going forward is to semi freeform, but I will interlock again if necessary.  Check out the video and let me know what you think.



Be blessed!

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

My New Facial Products | Skin Update



Hey Mocha Family,

I wanted to share with you my new facial products since I've been asked a number of times what I'm doing differently. It was so difficult to replace the Proactive I had used for more than a decade. My aesthetician recommended a salon line, but I wanted to do more research.  I wasn't necessarily looking for something super expensive.  I confess that everything was starting to look the same until I came across a YouTube video where the lady must have said all of the right things to me.  I am so glad I decided to follow her recommendations.  The best part for me is the fact that I can find most of the products in a health food market I visit regularly already.  When I can get there, everything is also on Amazon.



Check out the video and let me know what you think.



Be blessed!

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Black Moms Don't Cut Their Daughters' Hair | Hair Talks



Hey Mocha Family,

I hope these Hair Talk videos will develop over time into a series we really enjoy.  So far the response has been great.  This particular video was inspired by a video I watched by YouTubers MAZELEE.  I love their "cinevlogs" and have been captivated for months by their style of story telling.  This particular video was a family vlog about their new baby with only a snippet of the mom talking to her girls about what hair cuts they would try next.  Though the conversation was only a small part of the video, the comments section exploded with people admonishing the mom about cutting her daughters' hair and asking her to please not cut it anymore.

My immediate response was, how ridiculous!!!

Later, I kept thinking about it and wondering what it means for us as moms and for me as a black mom.

Do we still believe that black hair doesn't grow?

Is there still a fear that is we cut our daughter's hair, beyond a trim, it will never grow back?

I'm really enjoying the conversation on YouTube.  Join us!  Check out MAZELEE's channel and let me know what you think.



Be blessed!