I love doing these car chats. I feel like I can be comfortable and just share what's going on with me. I hope you like them too. I appreciate a weekly shooting schedule, but I also want to be free to throw in some wild cards. I hope you enjoy this new format.
Has it always been this hard or is my busy life crowding out my passion for natural hair? I am so glad I decided to do a set of box braids for my girls. For some reason I thought up dos fashioned with big braids, were more dedicated and creative. They didn't last as long as box braids, and I was constantly beating myself up when the take down was long overdue.
It's back to basics for me, ya'll. I'm still learning a lot.
Don't over complicate things. If it works do it. Admire the crowd, but do your own thing.
I can't believe it's already been a year. When I started these locks I didn't want to become too attached, after being utterly ready to chop my first set. One morning, I got up, walked into my bathroom and started chopping. With little warning, I was done and had no regrets. I didn't know if that feeling would return before hitting a year with my second set.
The above diagram of what our stomachs looks like when bloated is really gross! No, Ma'am!
The intermittent fasting has been going well, but I am struggling not to rush through my meals with all of our activities. Planning nutritious and calorie rich fare must improve going forward. While having a shorter window of time to eat yields great benefits for my body, a struggle is accessing bigger and more high quality portions. Since school started, I find myself rushing through my day, scarfing down my meals only to suffer sluggish digestion and bloating. I am still tweaking things.
We've been really blessed by our experiences with umbrella school, but it hasn't always been easy. I hope you find our pros and cons helpful if you are trying to make a decision. Let me know if you have any questions in the comments section.
We've been really blessed by our experiences with umbrella school, but it hasn't always been easy. I hope you find our pros and cons helpful if you are trying to make a decision. Let me know if you have any questions in the comments section.
I am so excited about this set of locks and my enthusiasm is coming through in this video. I really struggled with managing my flaky scalp for years. What worked with my first set of locks was to shampoo every three days, which was daunting in the cooler months. I knew that an omega three fatty acid deficiency was at the root of my issue and incorporated flax seeds into my diet. This helped greatly, but if I stopped washing even for a week, the flakes would come back with a vengeance.
I've had a tremendous break through this month. My regimen to heal subclinical hypothyroidism includes taking a tbsp of cod liver oil with my meals (twice a day). At the same time, my locks have looked so good I had stopped rinsing altogether. After nearly a month of random rinsing and weeks without washing with shampoo, you can imagine my amazement to discover a flake free and healthy scalp.
This is just a quick check to answer a question from one of my viewers. If you've been here for a while, you know I followed the Tupler Technique to treat my Diastasis Recti, which is a separation in my abdominal wall commonly caused by pregnancy. In this video, I get on the floor and check to see if the gap is back.
Lately I've been saying "soon", and "later" to hair styling. Inevitably, the rubber met the road today in an extremely difficult detangling session. That video is coming soon, but here is my struggle to adjust to all of the changes in my life. Balls are being dropped. I've learned that going forward I will have to make my wash regimen for the girls a priority. I hope to never deal with the situation I encountered today again. I'm getting slightly anxious just thinking about it.
The first week of school was especially difficult for me this year. If I would have really thought it through, I would have delayed starting by another week. I am doing well, but I needed more time to adapt to moving Bekah out of state. Instead, I came home and moved Kaleb into his apartment for the semester and continued prepping to teach a class (at a school) for the first time in years, as if I didn't need a moment to sit and maybe cry a little. I wish I had not jumped right into starting my homeschool. If you're a homeschooling family, maybe you can understand the pressure of thinking you need to do what the rest of the world is doing not to let your kids down when it comes to school. Actually, one of the greatest perks of homeschooling is being able to adapt schooling to fit what is happening in your particular family. I had to slap my hand for this one, but we're moving forward wiser for next time.
This was one intense weekend for us but I am so glad to see Bekah spread her wings and fly. My sister was right when she said told me to stop being sad about releasing her. This is the natural order of things, but it's OK to honor the difficulty of the process.
Thank you for supporting her all of these years. She'll be back to greet ya'll again.
I am super excited this month because at I am really close to the one year mark! I've adapted to my locks and now that the proverbial pot is no longer being watched, time seems to be flying! This month's video is all about my renewed love of hair teas and how I am combating dryness, while staying away from oils.
I am using the term depression loosely. Many people associate sadness and having a bad day with depression, but depression is a serious clinical condition with specific symptoms. I am using this language in an effort to effectively communicate with the average person with no clinical background. Since people can experience a significant number of the symptoms associated with depression I thought it fair to use the term.
I've been stepping out of my comfort zone more and more lately. When I'm old, I want to be satisfied that I lived and wasn't afraid to try things. So many people have told me not to fear wild animals because they are shy of humans, but I've watched too many movies. I was a little nervous, but after seeing so many people come off the trail, I decided that nothing was stopping me from experiencing God's marvelous creation. I hope you enjoy the video. The views were even more gorgeous in real life.
Lately I want to sing, "I can see clearly now the rain is gone! I can see all the obstacles in my way!" I had no idea I was struggling so much until the struggle was gone. How can a person be depressed and not know it? Looking back, the depression is obvious, but at the time I found so many other plausible explanations.
Recording this video caused me a measure of discomfort. I'm a recovering perfectionist who is learning to embrace weakness. I'm hoping that by sharing my story someone else can find the freedom by getting help. I thought I had to accept my symptoms because I'm getting older. What a lie! My best years are possibly ahead!
I get a little introspective during this video, but I really wanted to talk about where my hair peace comes from. I have noticed that once we reach our natural hair goals, and master working with our hair, we can get bored. I am very familiar with that restless feeling of wanting a change or being tired of the routine and styling patterns we've established. The flip side may be struggling to ever come to a place of satisfaction with grooming and styling and concluding that natural hair just isn't working. I'd like to save anyone who is struggling the trouble of making the mistakes I did. At the end of the day, I prefer my natural hair even when it has meant transitioning and big chopping multiple times.
My body has adapted really well to an eight hour eating window and sixteen hours of fasting, much of which happens while I sleep. As I shared in last week's video, I started playing around with Intermittent Fasting in January of this year. There has been lots of trial and error since there are so many variations to try. I walk you through all of my meals in this video and hope you'll find it as helpful as I did when I was trying to figure out what would work best for me.
Have you ever heard insanity defined as doing the same thing over and over, while expecting a different result? That was me. Despite my troubling symptoms, I continued to eat in the same way day by day. I am so grateful for our yearly progressive fast (every January), and finally being able to consider the possibility that I should try something radically different.
Intermittent fasting is being discussed regularly on Youtube. I was able to find a slew of videos along with articles online. In fact, the volume of information may be overwhelming. Since January, I've been trying a number of variations of when to eat and fast. I have finally found my sweet spot. I share about it all candidly in this longer than usual video.
Initially, I was hesitant to reveal so much because of the controversy around choosing not to eat. As a social work professional, I know all about eating disorders and the dangers of developing a distorted body image. My journey is about …
Did you know that I've been making these slick ballet buns for years? I especially loved how this one stayed picture perfect for the entire day. It's all in the technique and not rushing the process. Take your time detangling or the hair won't be as flat on the head. I actually reach for a tool like my Tangle Teezer for this. Finger detangling is not enough. Moisturize for a good shine, but be sure to use products that mix well with the gel you're using. I use lots and lots of gel. I am literally gluing the strands in place with gel. Brush it all in with a natural boars bristles brush. A paddle brush is just not the same. Don't forget to gel the bun itself! Nothing worse than laid hair with a fuzzy bun. Finally, tie everything down with a silky scarf. Be sure to apply pressure to every strand you hope to set. Do NOT remove the scarf until the hair is as dry as possible. It's OK if the hair is damp in the middle, but the front …
This process has stretched me so much. It just never occurred to me that one of my children would reject college when she's so academically capable. I left this chat pretty much uncut so you can join in our conversation. I think this is the best decision for Bekah, and am looking forward to watching her grow but spiritually and professionally.
Here is my 7 month lock update. There's not much to say so I thought I would just show you how my hair is doing. I am very happy with the progress. We are now in the teenage lock stage, with no more unravelling and my hair doing what it wants to do. Semi freeforming is a win, win for me. I love this new laid back lifestyle.
Sometimes as a homeschooling mom what I need to know more than anything else is the fact that I really am in charge! Changing curriculum at the end of the school year couldn't possibly be a good idea, but it was the perfect choice for us. We are building confidence and enthusiasm for math again.
So many people have already shared their opinion, but I wanted to add mine as fuel for thought. I haven't been satisfied with the performance of my Shea Moisture products in a while. I don't know if I purchased something with a new formula or if I was just over the hype. I've heard some people react to this situation by boycotting Shea Moisture. This is moot for me since I had no future plans to make a purchase anyway.
I'm glad they quickly made an apology which effectively communicates that they understand the angst, but will it be enough?
Watching this video has made me realize how much I have changed. Back in the day, I'd be working hard to get all the girls' hair done tonight in preparation for Easter service. These days I don't really altar our routine, but try to work with where we are in the process. I may use a few extra accessories tomorrow but a little bit of fuzz really doesn't bother me anymore.
Negative self talk is so destructive. I think there is a graveyard of wasted potential simply because we talk ourselves out of a blessed life. Suffering is unavoidable but we are born to live out our purpose and I know for me, negative self talk is such a stumbling block.
I really have to remind myself that I am here as a mentor. One who shares what I have received. I can't be distracted by the process or overwhelmed by my busy life. As long as I upload the download, we're good, right? Time out for making the wrong assessments and kudos for staying the course!
I love watching Mocha Dad in action! These spontaneous chats happen any time. I love the fact that we don't always have to be doing school to be learning new things. Mocha Dad's reminder that learning the basics well is so much more important than getting too deep too early was timely for me. I've been applying these principles and have noticed a big difference in my daughters already.
I am grateful to Mocha Dad for making time for this conversation. It was so helpful to me that I wanted to share the entire thing. There are three videos in all to be released Wednesday, Thursday and Friday at 7 pm.
I haven't been slacking with on the hair videos. I just haven't been doing hair! I never thought I'd find myself too busy for the leisurely Princess Days of old. Weekends are often booked or we're dealing with the unexpected like this week's stomach bug. Thankfully it has stopped making it way through the family.
I was feeling all kinds of mommy guilt, until I was slid my fingers through my daughter's healthy strands and remembered that our natural hair can be resilient. What a relief that the girls' hair is thriving!
I am excited to share our new Busy Mom Hair Regimen for Girls. I'm getting my daughters more involved with the process, and fine tuning the steps to save time.
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!
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.
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.
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 di…
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 obstac…
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.
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?
Out of all the styles I can teach my girls, I find small twists to be the most practical towards independence. If you redo them often enough, they are easy in and easy out. This particular set has braided roots to minimize matting when the girls wet their hair on wash and swim days. The braided roots make it a little trickier to master. I find that my girls are able to twist like pros before they can braid like pros.
I had to help my 11 year old, Mocha Girl 3, by braiding the roots for her and allowing her to finish off the twists. She makes her braids are still a little too loose to do the job of trapping the shed hair. She will master the technique with a little bit of practice. Your girl was so proud!
God talks to me in the most unexpected ways if I stay open. I've shared with you guys before about how emotional the process of launching my son Kaleb has been, and two years are flying by so that Head Mocha Girl's turn is coming like lightening. My feelings are a mixed bag.
A wonderful perk of the kids getting older is the ability to get away for the weekend with my husband with relative ease. I was really happy on a recent trip and when we decided to pop into Busch Gardens, I never imagined I'd be getting an answer to the restless stirrings in my soul about my purpose.
Check out the video and let me know your thoughts.
I may not be a product junkie but I will typically watch any video promoting a product to help with detangling. For me, this is the most challenging aspect of managing our natural hair. I am so happy I watched a recent review of Aunt jackie's Knot Havin' it. I bought bought the girl version and the adult version but as far as I can tell the main difference is the scent. I would describe the girls' version as a more of a candy scent. My girls love both products.
Be advised that this is a very light moisturizer. I am accustomed to using much heavier products, particularly my shea butter mix when I put in long term styles like twists and braids. Knot Havin' it melts in the hair completely with a feel of almost no residue. I wanted to try the product alone so I did not layer oils and butters over it. By the time we were finished styling I was very pleased with the softness of the girl's hair. There was also a natural looking sheen to their …
I'm so proud of my son Kaleb! He managed to release his first album while maintaining such good grades in college to continually stay on the dean's list. We are so blessed by his faithfulness and happy to see him live his dream.
I love Kaleb's idea of sharing the story behind the music on his website. How enjoyable it is to follow the creator's story while listening to the music! As I shared in the video, Kaleb has been drawing emotion from me with his music for years. This album is a unique glimpse into his imagination.
Please check out his album and make the purchase if you like. We really appreciate it.
Hubby and I had such a great time on our trip. My hair was of no concern. It is so funny to me what an issue I thought it would be when we were planning our get away. The set I did in the video took away too much volume from my locks. Nope. Fail.
Have you ever heard that sea water helps hair lock faster? I took the opportunity to test this myth while we were on our trip by rinsing my locks with sea water. They did tighten up, but once I rinsed the sea water out, my locks were the same as ever. Since I am not about to walk around with salty locks, I'll leave that one alone.
I can't tell you how many strange looks I get when people find out that I actually fast food instead of something like media. At the very least, the expectation is that I am having some sort of juice. Turns out that water fasting is quite healthy and not as uncommon as you might expect.
I was really amazed to find so much information on water fasting online. My family and I have been doing a 21 day progressive fast for more than a decade now. We drop one meal the first week, two meals the second, and the last seven days is a water fast. This was my first year making it all the way through the seven days on just water. Previously, I have reverted to one meal a day to make it through after a few days on the water fast. It was largely a mental feat. Once I believed I could actually succeed, I did.
Every year I lose weight but this was my first time tracking it. I lost 21 pounds in 21 days! I have regained 8 pounds and counting. Not sure where my weight wil…
I am more than a week into weaning myself off of the proactive. Initially I thought of going cold turkey like the aesthetician recommended, but after careful consideration, I realized that a lot of her advice could be sales pitch. She had a line ready to sell me. I did some research online which suggests that a slow process may radically reduce my breakouts.
My plan will be drop to once a day for a month, followed by every other day for a month etc. After every two days I think I may be able to go cold turkey. I will just have to see how my face reacts.
So far, so good.
I am down to using proactive once a day and trying out some popular natural products I ordered online and purchased from a local health store. I have noticed one zit on my cheek, but wonder if it is from my new regimen or hormonal shifts that come with my period.
I behaved like a true newbie this month by stopping my wraps and being bareheaded around the house. I watched my hair like a hawk and as a result felt a little impatient with the process. Find out what changing I plan to make for next month to get back on track by checking out the video above.
It's not homeschooling if we are trying to bring a public or private school situation into our homes. I struggled for years thinking I had to recreate what I experienced as a child in public school (without the bad stuff) to educate my kids well. The truth is that such a goal is impossible for one person to achieve. Schools are filled with an army of workers, and specialized equipment to get the job done. How can one person play the role of all those people? Anyway, the beauty of homeschooling is the flexibility to create an ideal situation specific to your family and child.
Every now and then I still have to zap the feeling that someone is watching and waiting to report me for not doing things a certain way, but it has become much easier to beat to the drum of our own vision for the family. Check out the above video for ways I try to homeschool outside the box.
I shy away from products with a long list of ingredients I can't pronounce. Isn't this what we've always heard from the natural hair community? I'm sure this advice has merit, but does it follow that just because we don't understand the ingredients the product will be bad for our hair?
I'm glad I took a chance with this Africa's Best Hair Mayonnaise. It's super cheap but has worked wonders for Mocha Girl 2's hair. I share our experience in the video above. Check it out and let me know in the comments what products have surprised you?
Hey Mocha Family,
I don't like to call the mistakes I make in homeschooling failure. The growth experienced from these mistakes testify of their value. However, struggles don't feel good and we are still looking for those good grades and happy looks on our kids faces day to day as proof of success.
I usually regroup by reflecting on the semester with my husband or by consulting friends. I watch the kids like a hawk and make my own assumptions, but I've never drawn them into a conversation to hear their perspective until now.
I learned so much. Check out the video to see how it went and leave me a comment down below about how you assess your performance.
Hey Mocha Family,
I can't believe I am packing twenty extra pounds! I guess weight management comes to everyone sooner or later. Can I smirk at the younger me who didn't own a scale and could eat whatever she wanted?
Here is what I am doing to kick off my weight loss journey. I don't expect to lose twenty pounds in twenty one days. Instead I hope to break some really bad habits and restart my body for the New Year. With more than a decade of experience fasting like this, I know this works well for me.
Hey Mocha Family,
I really enjoy getting my hands in my son O&O's locks. I can't believe how quickly they are forming. Four months in and his hair already looks and behaves like much older locks. You can imagine my horror to one day find white sticky build up in his locks!
Product build up can develop easily in locks. We typically avoid creamy products, but even clear shampoo can build up over time when not properly rinsed away. Sometimes, even under the best of circumstances residue can build up in locks. I've learned that clarifying is an important part of the maintaining healthy locks.
We work hard towards prevention by limiting our product usage, diluting with water and minimizing. When I apply shampoo to my locks I usually follow up with an apple cider vinegar rinse, which works as a clarifier. I also do super rinses where I allow water to run through my locks for long periods of time. Five minutes can seem quick, but when timed I realized how long it …