Friday, April 29, 2011

The Ex Files: Password Protection

I have had plenty of opportunity to think about my last relationship.  I’m not regretting or wishing things were different, mind you; I’ve just been pondering, learning and growing.

When you’ve been in a relationship like I was that lasted over 4 years, you begin to do certain things.  Unbeknownst to the ex, one of the things I did was use characters, words and numbers that were related to him (and the two of us) as passwords for various accounts like voicemail, online banking, websites, etc. 

It dawned on me when the relationship ended that I would need to change that but I never took action.  Those passwords are embedded in my memory.  Who wants to go through the hassle of finding out how to change them and then commit the new ones to memory?  Add to the fact that you have to have alpha and numeric characters, symbols and such and well…I just kept them the same because I didn’t want to deal with the process.

Until today.

Even though I have moved on and am quite happy, those small reminders – even the ones as simple as “96391” – are a hindrance to what is in store for me.  And I’m too excited about my future to be stifled by alpha-numeric characters that are associated with my past.

So today I took the time to start changing my passwords and I’ve felt a bit more free because of it.

Sometimes, the small things DO matter. :-)

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Dating Follies: Date #2 with DandD

So yeah, after that craziness from date #1 with DandD, I went out with him again.

Why on earth would I do such a thing?

Necessity met opportunity.  I had free tickets to an event and my girlfriend couldn’t go at the very last minute.  DandD happened to call and ask if I wanted to go out that night.  Seeing as how I really had to use that other ticket (not using it would prevent me from getting future free tickets), I invited him to go along.  

We went to a concert so there was little need for communication, except for the ride to and from the venue.  I still couldn’t get the dine-and-dash incident out of my mind and would have taken the opportunity to address it during the ride, but I found out some other gems instead.

More deal-breakers:

·        He has children.  No big deal, most men in their 40’s do.  But he has no problems introducing his potentials to them and the rest of his family early on.  I can’t get with that.  At.all. He mentioned in casual conversation that in his last relationship, his girlfriend had been over his house, kicked it with the kids and they had met each other’s family.  That all happened within a month of casual dating.  Did I mention that he wanted to introduce me to his daughter on date #2?  No sir!
·        Although he loves seafood, that’s about as far as his food palette will take him.  I like all kinds of food and I can’t be limited to ordering a dozen of jumbo crabs and frequenting the local franchise restaurants.  There’s nothing wrong with that, mind you, but as a Foodie, learning that information made me sad.
·        He was bothered that men were looking at me.  While I won’t admit to being a beauty queen, I do believe I do alright in the looks department.  And when I go out, especially this particular venue, I dress nice.  And while I’m not that chick that goes grocery shopping in a freakum dress and heels, I do enjoy dressing up.  I’m tall, I wear heels; folks are going to notice me regardless.  I think it’s a weak move to lean in to my ear during the concert and say, “Do you realize that men be looking at you?”  Really?  If I’m out with a gentleman, I’m out with him.  I don’t make it a practice to draw attention to myself or to check out other men.  My focus is on getting where I’m going and having a good time with my date.  He mentioned this in the car too.

There has not been and will never be a date #3.  I refuse to waist his time (and money) knowing that there are fundamental things that I can't deal with.

Product Review 1st Take: Terressentials Lavendar Garden Pure Earth Hair Wash

Note: Apologies for the lack of pictures in this post.  I was too concerned with mastering the process to stop and take photos of the experience.  I’ll be sure to include pictures in my 2nd review of this product.

I mentioned this product the other day in this post .  Here’s my opinion after one use.

In a word, LOVE!  I’ll need to continue using it for a more balanced review but my hair has NEVER felt this good after a wash.

Ordering and Delivery:
I ordered my product on 4/20; got my ship notice on 4/21 and the packaged arrived at my door on 4/23.  I expected a quick delivery as I only live about 60 miles from Terressentials .  The hair wash came packaged nicely in a box and there was no damage to the product.  There were instructions concerning the product included in the box.

Organic aloe vera juice°, clay minerals, organic extract° of organic linden flower°, essential oils of organic true lavender° and organic sweet orange°, extracts of organic nettle°, organic chamomile° and organic shavegrass°, essential oils of organic rose geranium°, organic ylang ylang° and organic clove bud°.

°USDA Certified Organic

The instructions stated that if you were going to use the product on kinky, thick hair that it may be best to dilute the wash with water.  I started out the way Naptural85 diluted hers in her youtube video (in a small bowl) and quickly realized that her method wouldn’t work for me - too messy.  So I found a small spray bottle with a ‘stream’ option on the spray nozzle and added approximately 1 tablespoon of mud, per their instructions, and about ½ cup of warm water and then shook it vigorously to dilute. When I ran low, I just added more water since the remaining amount still looked muddy.

I hadn’t washed my hair in 12 days.  I wore a twist out for 9 of those days and a ‘fro puff for the last 3.  My hair was looking kind of dull and lifeless and had plenty of tangles due to my puff even though it wasn’t a wash-n-go puff.  I decided to NOT detangle my hair prior to using this product just to see how it would really work.  I sectioned my hair off in 6 sections and secured them with clips.

I then took each section and divided it in half or thirds, depending on how large it was.  I sprayed some wash at the base 1st and massaged my scalp.  I then sprayed each section a couple of times and worked the wash through my hair from root to tip.  After I worked the wash through the section, I gently detangled by pulling the strands apart with my hands.  Once pulled apart, I finger combed through the section to rid it of shed hairs.  Then, I twisted the section and went on to the next.

It took me about an hour to do my entire head because I wanted to make sure that I worked the product through properly and gave it enough time to sit in my hair.  I didn’t ‘detox’ as the website suggested because I don’t use many synthetic products and didn’t think I had much build up from the few “unhealthy” products that I use.  To rinse, I put my head under a running stream of warm water and rinsed the twists until the water was clean.  I then wrung out any excess water and wrapped my hair in a t-shirt for about 15-20 minutes.

After my hair was rinsed and air-dried for 15-20 minutes, I unraveled each twist, one at a time, and applied my shea butter mixture and re-twisted.  This was the only time that I used a brush and that was just on the ends to help with the smoothing.  I woke up this morning to well moisturized twists that I unraveled and fluffed.  Easy, breezy!

I really LOVE this product.  My hair has never felt so clean and moisturized.  It never felt stripped or dry.  The fact that there wasn’t any lather didn’t faze me one bit and my scalp was clean.  Notice that I DID NOT use a conditioner during any part of this process.  I was skeptical about the omission but my hair still feels good.  I also noticed that my curl pattern was more defined when I was working the product through.  I hadn’t seen those types of ringlets and curls in quite some time.

If you’re really looking for an all natural organic cleanser, I recommend that you give this a try.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Dating Follies: Deal Breakers, Dining and Dashing


What are the immediate ones that come to my mind when dating, you ask?  

You can’t be married, separated or ‘have a situation’; you can’t be bi-s.exual or have had any type of s.exual relationship or encounter with another man; you need to be self-sufficient and employed; you need NOT want any [more] children; you need to be respectful and polite; you need to have a car and if not, a good reason as to why not; if you have a kid, you HAVE to pay child support and be (or make every effort to be) an active parent; you must like food (more on that later); you need to be pleasing to MY eyes and be presentable; you have to be up on your current events, be able to hold a decent conversation and communicate well in written form. And oh my goodness, you need NOT be a girly-man.  You can be handsome but not pretty and petite.  You should at least be my height and not be intimidated by my love for 4” heels.  Asking too much?  If you think yes then, oh well because those criteria need to be met to get us to a first date.

But there are certain deal breakers that you may not know of until you’ve happened upon a situation.

Like, such as (shout out to South Carolina’s 2007 Miss Teen USA contestant)

I met a fellow a few weeks ago.  Let’s call him DandD.  We communicate via phone and text (side-eye to excessive texting, by the way) and agree to meet for an appetizer to watch a bball game since our conversations had precluded him from being on the deal-breaker list.  Upon meeting at the local wing spot, we decide it’s nice enough to dine outside and watch the game on one of the 2 flat screens.  Side note: DandD had on a baseball cap that I was hoping he’d remove but because we ate outside, he kept it on.  I wanted to see his bald dome but it didn’t happen that night.

We seat ourselves and enter: our waitress.  Lovely young lady who felt quite embarrassed to ask for a credit card prior to us ordering the obligatory water. It was restaurant policy to prevent folks from leaving without paying for the food.  We totally understood and DandD handed over a card.

I don’t know why – I’ll attribute it to intuition – I continued the conversation of eating a meal and skipping on the bill (otherwise known as the ‘Dine and Dash’) but continue, I did.  I asked DandD had he ever done such a thing.

“Why, yes I have,” he replied. And he laughed.

With a nervous smile, I immediately asked him when did he do that and he said it was years ago in high school.  Ok…I can get with that…although I’ve never done such a thing; I realize people do silly things in their youth.  Crisis averted. 

“Oh, and I did it once with my son a few years back,” he proclaims with a big, cheesy grin like it’s something to be proud about.

“Wait, what!?!?” I say.

DandD goes on to explain that he and his son went out for their birthday at a well-known chain restaurant that specializes in ribs.  The birthday promotion of said establishment is that if you have a certain name, you get your entree for free.  DandD and his son share that certain name and their birthday is a mere day apart so the bday special applies to them.  They proceed to order the most expensive entree.  After they've eaten like pigs (his words, not mine) the check comes and DandD can’t figure out why the total isn’t much lower than anticipated.  The waitress tells him that the promotion is for a free entree up to a certain amount of money but that anything above that amount is billable.

Waitress leaves and DandD tells the son to get up and exit stage left quickly.  Son questions…father says ‘do as I say AND as I do’…and they jet without paying all the while snickering on how the restaurant got 'got'.

What parent does this…with their child, no less?

Is it just me or is that unbelievable?  A grown man tells (and demonstrates) to his teenaged son how to be a thief.  And laughs about it.  And is bold enough to disclose this information to a person that he has met only once.  Wow!

Upon learning this information I was immediately turned off.  I knew right then that this little meet-up wouldn’t develop into anything.  I was a little upset that I learned this information within minutes of meeting DandD because I couldn’t fully enjoy the lovely evening, my sweet tea or my appetizer.  But I did take comfort in knowing that at least the bill would get paid.

Add Dine and Dash to the list of my deal-breakers.  

But wait, did I tell you that I went out with him again?  Call me crazy a glutton for punishment but, I did.  And that led to several other deal-breakers that I happened upon.

We’ll chat about those later but I can assure you that there hasn’t been a call or a response to a text after date #2 from me.


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Product Pre-Review: Terresentials Lavendar Garden Hair Wash

I learned about this hair product a few months ago on Naptural85’s  YouTube channel here and here. She has nothing but rave reviews about this Terressentials hair wash and I thought that when the time came that I was almost out of my regular shampoo and conditioner, I’d go ahead and give this a try.

Let’s forget the fact that this ‘wash’ is nothing more than mud with a bunch of essential oils in it. It is, however, 100% USDA Certified Organic.  There’s no other product on the market that can claim that, supposedly.  Peruse their website when you get a chance; they have a wealth of information.  But if you do find a product that touts the same, let me know about it in the comments.

I’m not out of my regular shampoo and conditioner but I am, however, tired of my current routine.  Even though I’ve greatly reduced the time in which it takes to wash and style my hair, I need an even shorter process.  If this wash does what Nap85 claims, I won’t have to pre-detangle or deep condition.  Using her videos as a testament to how healthy her hair appears, it works!  This will be a win in my book. *fingers crossed*

The product is not too expensive.  At $10.75 for an 8 oz bottle, it doesn’t break my $2.00 an ounce rule for purchasing products.  But what had me giving this the side-eye supreme was the fact that shipping is $8.75 and the business is only about 60 miles away from my house, in the same state!  I considered driving to the store but with gas being almost $4/gallon, nixed that idea immediately.  Anyway, with shipping, that puts my price per ounce at a little over $2.50.  However, this is (hopefully) going to be a 2-for-1: shampoo AND conditioner product.  To further allay the anxiety of the crazy shipping cost, I went ahead and threw in a body oil (that I didn’t need) – which means I spent more money – to justify the $8.75. Get with that logic.

So the next time I wash my hair, this is the product I’ll use.

And I’ll report back with results in 3 parts: 1st use; 2nd use 1 or 2 weeks later; and then final take.

Wish me luck!

Anyone out there tried this?

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Dating Follies: Something Smells Fishy

Ain't my nephew cute!

A guy and I were chatting about foods that we liked over the phone.  He loves seafood and asked if I loved it too.  Why yes, yes I do.

This joker says, and I quote verbatim, “If I can find a woman that tastes as good as seafood, I’ll marry her on the spot!”

I thought I’d die right there on the phone.  Did he hear the words that just came out of his own mouth?!

Methinks I won’t be walking down the aisle with him.  LOL

March/April Hair & Styling Update

There’s really nothing new going on in the world of my hair.  I still haven’t done any protective styling and as a result, I have encountered my share of knots.   I’m really not that concerned because the knots are concentrated at the very ends of my hair strand and can easily be snipped off with a good pair of shears.

I’m pretty sure I snipped of about 1/8” of hair about a week ago when I was retwisting my hair for bed.  The ends were feeling a bit rough.  That little snip made a world of difference in the appearance of my twist-out the next morning.

Last night I detangled, washed and deep conditioned my hair (after 3 weeks!), blow dried it and twisted.  I blow dried in sections using grape seed oil as my heat protectant.  Once dry, I applied the Shea Moisture Deep Treatment Masque as a leave in then broke the larger section into smaller ones.  I used a mixture of Miss Jessie’s Curly Pudding, aloe vera gel, Garnier Fructis styling gel and some {silicone-mineral oil-olive oil leave in moisturizer} representing itself as a ‘natural’ product.  This concoction was born out of no full supply of any styling product (gasp, how’d that happen?!). I smoothed that mixture on each smaller section and twisted.  When all was said and done I had about 40-50 small twists.  Now, I don’t usually do this many twists but I wanted a lot of definition initially so that my twist out can be just right by the weekend.  After completing the twists I applied a satin scarf to prevent shrinkage and then a bonnet to protect the twists that were hanging out of the scarf.

This morning I strongly considered keeping the twists in for work but couldn’t figure how to style them.  So while driving to work, I untwisted.  LOL  I had already applied a light oil before leaving the house.  I did minimal separation or fluffing because it was raining and I didn’t want to promote additional frizz.

Side note: that styling concoction…#winning.  I got a nice, soft hold with good definition.  I’m really not that concerned these days with the evil ingredients in the styling product.

Here’s a really terrible phone camera pic of the results.  Note that I haven’t really done anything to my hair – no fluffing, no pinning, no styling and minimal separation.  It’s just…hanging.