Monday, July 29, 2013

Music Mondays

Definitely inspired by last night's VH1 Behind the Music. Will always be my favorite artist since high school days with the Luda banners on Myspace, saving up every dollar to buy his CDs and those Times Square sketches.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Am I Becoming Invisible?

I've always had issues with getting too much attention. Before you go ahead and tell me I'm being cocky or arrogant, I'm not at all trying to be that way. I'm not an attention whore, nor do I think I'm the best thing that ever happened. Quite the contrary actually. I think I'm pretty regular. I have my moments where I do think I'm a bad bitch, but most of the time I'm really self conscious. I don't get what other people see when they call me pretty or beautify, I just can't see it. Anyway, when I hit puberty my body decided it would be funny to spring some B cups on me overnight. At 11-12 when all the other girls were still flat as a board, it became the new thing for everyone to make fun of. Like it wasn't bad enough that I was a social outcast and a mega geek. Random guys started saying stuff on the street, everywhere I went I was getting more and more attention. I was no way at all ready for this attention. It freaked me out. And this is what I have had to deal with as I got older. I got rid of my glasses and BOOM a whole new wave of attention and cat calling. I eventually owned it and let all the comments roll off my back, but there are times I still get rankled by it. I wished I was ugly, or unappealing to guys. I mean can't a gal just walk around and not have anyone even glance her way?

Well it seems that I got my wish. I don't get the cat calls, the "Good Morning Beautiful" anymore. I more or less walk about doing as I please with not so much as a second glance. Even when I'm all dolled up and have my face on, nothing! I used to go to the gym in my raggy old sweats and feel uncomfortable with male attention. Now not a guy in there blinks. Maybe I'm making it up and its part of the quarter life crisis. I mean yes, I did wish it would stop, but damn crickets? Really? Can there be some kind of balance? I guess not. And now I'm sitting here going crazy thinking I'm invisible and it's kind of hurting my very little - but still there- ego. To be fair though, a lot of people must not see or hear me with the way I've been getting stepped on and bumped into by people on the street and in the subway. So I guess I am overreacting huh? LOL at myself. ::le sigh::

In other news, there is no news. I'm just  muddling along. Catching up on TV shows. (Totally love Idris Elba in Luther and cannot wait for what's coming next!) Going to the gym occasionally, which is still better than never :) Also drinking more water and learning to appreciate grapefruit. Baby steps people. I won't transform overnight. No lipo/mia/ana over here.

- L

Monday, July 22, 2013

Music Mondays

As the time draws closer, I'm even more excited! 3 weeks and counting :)

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Getaway Numero Dos: Berkshires in MA

For the Mister's birthday we came out to a Bed and Breakfast on Lake Garfield in Massachusetts called Lakeside Terrace. It's in the west end of MA in this area of the woods called the Berkshires. Very serene and beautiful and quiet. When they say lake side, they meant it. We're just a few feet away from the water! I've been enjoying myself and taking lots of pictures. There is no service out here, but there is limited wifi, so I can sneak some posts. Perfect spot for tuning out and powering down with no distractions if you really want to. I enjoy the peace and quiet, no rushing and no arguing. Everyone out here is really nice, they aren't aggressive like New Yorkers (city people anyway.) Everything is a little drive away, but it's good to just let the wind blow in your hair and explore. The view by the lake is really spectacular. We've been enjoying ourselves and are not ready to come back to NYC. The time is too short to really experience everything here, but we will be back.

I've been posting pictures here and there on FB, Twitter, and Instagram so be sure to check them out.

- L

Lake Garfield Lakeside Terrace
View of Lake Garfield

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Lush Henna: Caca Rouge Mama Review

***I was not sponsored or paid for this post. Product was paid for with my own money, all opinions and view are my own.***

I was curious about this henna because I have recently been put on to Lush by a few of my friends. I balked at the prices, but my friends said it was worth it to be chemical free. I can still never wrap my head around that logic. Chemicals are cheaper than nature. Anyway, I had used boxed henna before (in powder form) from the beauty supply store, so I was of course intrigued by this. Lush's henna is in brick form with cocoa butter and other natural ingredients. I was torn between rouge and marron because I wasn't sure how it was going to work on my dark hair, but I ended up going with Caca Rouge Mama. I figured since you usually always go lighter than what you want because it doesn't come out that color (in my experience with dark hair) and its always easier to darken something that's too light. I read a lot of reviews before moving forward with this because I needed to know a) if it was even worth it because my hair is dark  b) I thought it was expensive for a hair treatment c) I needed to have the process down to make it work to its best ability. I admit I briefly looked over the instructions because I read what - 40 blogs or so on this? And read almost all the reviews on the Lush website and watched a ton of YT vids. I figured I was an expert and knew what to expect.

A lot of reviews and blogs said this was indescribably messy and to enlist the aid of a friend/roommate/loved one for application or to have them do it in the store. I originally planned in having it applied in the store but didn't find time, so I decided to do it myself. A lot of people also complained about the smell being strong and yucky. I thought it wasn't a terrible smell, maybe depends on the color? Very herbal and I can see where some people with sensitive sniffers would find it strong, but I didn't mind it at all. Breaking up the bar wasn't as hard as a lot of people made it seem. I cut off 3 cubes with my small kitchen knife and then rough chopped it with my cleaver into chunks. I had read a multitude of different things people added to make the henna stronger or aid the color whatever. I had planned on this as well, but that got screwed up when I used too much liquid (I boiled water and steeped 2 bags of plain old Lipton for a few minutes.) I was actually scared I used too much liquid and was going to waste my henna. But it ended up working out and I had just enough for my hair. It was about yogurt/cake batter thickness and still had a few small chunks, but I decided it was good enough. (I did see all the grains/grainy texture people were complaining about) I really wanted to get this bad boy started and you're supposed to apply while warm.
caca rouge
Henna bar, chunks, grains, and all mixed out

Off to the shower I went and stripped down to my birthday suit to get on with my henna. I knew it was going to be messy so I figured doing it in the shower was a good move and I'm so glad I did. I know you're supposed to apply on dry hair, but I didn't want it to tangle so I dampened my hair a bit before applying. I snapped on some latex gloves and went to town dumping it in my hair. I separated it into 2 sections - front and back - and happily globbed it in (much the same way I do regular box dye.) After I was sure I had every strand coated, I wrapped my hair up in a plastic cap and rinsed off. The plastic cap ended up being not enough to contain the henna, I had it dripping everywhere and it kept messing up the shower as I was trying to clean it. So I hopped out and ran to the kitchen for the plastic wrap and sealed it up. I must have wrapped my head about 5 times in plastic wrap to contain it all. Then I tied my scarf on top to catch any stragglers.

waiting for this to do it's thang!

It felt so heavy on my head and (I can guarantee you will get a headache from the weight of it all and the tightness of the wrapping.) I was dreading the 4 hour wait to wash this out. Big mistake I made by doing it at 9pm. While I'm all for burning the midnight oil, I was not for a midnight shower. Especially not when everyone complained that it took forever to rinse out the henna and all the grains. I knew there was no way I was sleeping with this crap on my head. I was already itching to take it out. So staying up was my only option. I waited about 3 hours before heading back to the shower. When they say this takes forever to wash out they did not lie. The tiny grains would not come out. About 2 shampoos and 3 conditions later, I was mostly grain free. My hair still smelled herbal from the henna, but not in an unpleasant way. I didn't lose any hair more than normal considering the vigorous washing - I heard that as a complaint about the henna as well. I couldn't even bother with blow drying to see the results. I was glad to see I didn't have any staining on my skin because I didn't use any Vaseline around my edges. I just hopped in bed (wrapped my pillow up in an old towel) and hoped for the best. I didn't have high expectations because I knew henna deposited color not lightened. I previously used box dye to lighten my hair a month ago (I went from dark brown to dark brown with reddish highlights) and figured it would just enhance that color. If anything I would have nice soft hair from the henna and cocoa butter. I could think of it as a nice deep conditioning treatment.

I hate smiling in pics, but my color before the henna
not the best pic, but this is the morning after

In the morning, my hair was dry and coarse, not soft as I had hoped it would be. I could tell from the inside light that the red took well to the lighter parts of my hair. Some of the darker parts had red showing through, probably from where it was more concentrated. In natural, outside light it was a brighter red than I thought, and I was pleased with the results. A few reviews said the henna keeps processing for at least another week, so I'll check back then.

my roots are darker, but the red is more intense.
it really stuck to the lighter parts of my hair

It's been a little over a week and my hair has been washed a few times. The texture is back to normal and I'm happy for that. Still didn't get that super soft hair from it, but it still feels thicker. So I guess that's a plus. I think I'll try it again in a few weeks with the 3 remaining cubes. Maybe I'll add paprika and lemon juice and all kind of other things to boost the color. Some raw honey maybe? I'll check back in and let you know.

**EDIT** I used the remaining henna this weekend. I mixed it with green tea, cinnamon, and ACV. I left it on for about 4 hours instead of 3. The other change I made was applying it to dry hair instead of damp hair. I think that made it easier to wash out. I shampooed twice and used conditioner twice. The color was more vibrant when I washed it out, but it did nothing to my roots :( Now when I'm indoors you can tell it has a reddish-brown tint. Out in the sunlight it's pure auburn glory.

Overall I'm pleased with the results, but I don't think it's worth shelling out the almost $30 on this. It's too messy and hard to wash out. There are plenty of other ways to achieve natural color for less money.

Any of you try this Lush henna or any other hennas?

- L

Monday, July 8, 2013

Music Mondays

"I'm feelin' your heartbeat pullin me closer, closer, with every touch I'm feelin' it stronger..."

Friday, July 5, 2013

My Short Trip to DC

I managed to get some time off and escape NY for the holiday weekend and I was never so excited. I came out here to Maryland to spend some time with my family and relax from the hustle and bustle of city life. And let me tell you, I am even more sold on leaving NY and coming out here or somewhere in the area. I love the calmness of it. No rushing anywhere, nice scenery, cleaner air (at least I think so!) and the most important - QUIET! I am just so in awe of the peacefulness down here. I've been posting pics on Instagram, so go check them out if you aren't already!

Today I managed to meet up with my cousin in DC and we went to the National Zoo and saw some animals. But it was even too hot for some of them! The pandas, gorillas, and orangutans were all inside. The poor elephants were just standing in the shade spraying themselves with water. I was able to see a few animals outside before we called it quits. It was beyond packed, to the point that we had to wait on line to see the pandas. Yes, a line to see the pandas. They were quite the hot commodity. After awhile of not seeing any actual animals outside, I was done. It was way too hot to be doing this. So we switched it up and went to see the monuments. My phone was dying at this point, so I couldn't take any pics. I made sure I got a close up of the White House though! 

white house

All in all I enjoyed myself and will definitely make another trip out here. Maybe next time I'll come straight to DC and stay in the area. There were a lot more places around there I wanted to check out. 

Anyone else been to DC? Any tips?

- L

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday

Photo courtesy of the buckingham chicago

Don't forget what this holiday is about, but enjoy your time off (if you got it)

- L

Monday, July 1, 2013

Music Mondays

I'm excited because last night I bought tickets to the Backstreet Boys concert, a part of their In a World Like this Tour. If you know nothing else about me, know that I love me some BSB. Like I have all their albums, a ton of BSB paraphernalia - calendars, buttons, notebooks, pens, posters... you name it I have it. Yes I still to this day have all of that and will never part with any of it. I still dream of having AJ's babies (after the rehab of course), but I love me some Howie and Kevin.... Damn. You get the point. Look out for concert pics and video on Instagram and Twitter!

- L