Friday 18 October 2013

On Repeat: Temi Dollface

I wouldn't call myself a dancer, but I love moving. Those who know me  personally are accustomed to seeing me sway, bop or jiggle to music in my head on the street. So when I hear a tune that makes me want to move and shake even more unabashedly than usual, I just have to share it.

 Temi Dollface's 'Pata Pata' (means 'total' or 'absolute') has a beautifully bright video, with 1950s fashion intersecting with more traditional African styles. And the music? Eurgh, I love it! - a deliciously thick and modern bass, that somehow still manages to remind me of the Afrobeat records my dad played when I was a little girl. Her voice and lyrics are an awesome mix of spunky wit, effortless sophistication and honey.

Basically, this song is a whole heap of fun and I'm obsessed.

Oh, and go here for her silk-smooth re-doing of Teenage Dirtbag.
Thanks to Chai for sharing first!

Monday 14 October 2013

CG Girl Gone Cone

It started innocently enough, in Paris. Borrowing a little bit of my house mates anti dandruff shampoo to clarify my scalp properly.

And then it spiralled - aggravated by a crazy life situation, an overwhelming need for convenience and no longer having the time, space and access to ingredients like before.

So here, we have my new list of products I'm using at the moment - at least, until life settles down a little bit more and allows me to get my clay on like I used to.

In the shower:
L - R: Schwarzkopf Gliss Hair Repair Ultimate Colour 
Shampoo with Liquid Keratin, Herbal Essences Hello Hydration.
I do have 5 fingers, I promise.

Name: Schwarzkopf Gliss Hair Repair with Liquid Keratin Ultimate Colour Shampoo .
Cost: £1
Use: Shampoo on a weekly basis

Name: Herbal Essences Hello Hydration.
Cost: £1.97 on offer, normally £3.89 at Boots.
Use: Conditioner after shampoo weekly; As a deep conditioner with an oil added.

Out the shower:

L - R: Cantu Shea Butter Leave In Conditioning Repair Cream, Rose Water, Eco Styler Olive Oil Gel, Macadamia Healing Oil Treatment.
Nearly all gone...
Name: Cantu Shea Butter Leave In Conditioning Repair Cream
Cost: Free for me, from a stash of a relative, but around £4 from Beauty Shops.
Use: As a moisturiser in the colder days, and when I'm too lazy to condition wash my hair; as a styler for my twists. It was there and it meant I wouldn't have to lug a spritz bottle and a bottle of sealant in all at the same time.

Name:  Macadamia Healing Oil Treatment
Cost: £11 from TK Maxx - the pump was missing and half of the stuff had been poured out, so it was on reduction to £18. I pointed out to the till girl that, if half was missing, shouldn't it have half off...?
She agreed - success!
Use: As a sealant, hair serum, and a hair perfume.

I'm having a lot of fun experimenting with products on my hair and I still have one purchase left to make. It's been nice, as well, getting to give some of the products that the natural forums and community have been buzzing about a bit of a go as well :)

Friday 11 October 2013

Big and little Goals

I've made it a habit of mine to post my yearly goals when autumn comes along - it feels a lot more natural than January 1st, in the midst of frost and cold and the dismantling of Christmas decorations. Eeesh *shivers*.

So I'm thinking that instead of approaching it like a wishlist, as in 'I hope somehow next year I'll have somehow managed to do this' I'll post my annual goal and then follow it up with what I'm doing this month to follow it up. See if it's realistic or not by taking little steps first. I've been massively inspired by Shelli's fitness achievements - her dedication is amazing and inspiring and, even better, totally achievable. 10 minutes a day? Let's do this!


Big Goal: Get to Bra Strap Length/Have 15 inches of hair all round by October 2014
Little goal(s) for October: Moisturise my twists regularly with rose water.
Continue caring for hair as necessary (washing and conditioning etc).
Keep up with my fitness goals.



Big Goal: Be able to do a handstand
Little goals for October: Continue focusing on general core and upper body fitness (I want to join a yoga class later on and am trying to give myself a little head start!).

Big Goal: Be able to keep up with the Wonder Thing. I'm feeling sluggish and lethargic, which isn't great going into the colder seasons. I want to look after myself so I have more energy and don't need afternoon naps any more!
Little goals for October: Exercise three times a week, to get re-used to it . Includes joining a dance class or sports team!
Drink 2 litres of water daily.
Start adding more vegetables and fruits back into my daily life - 5-a-day.


Big Goal: Save £1500
Little goals for October: Start working again, even if it means joining new agencies.
Reclaim money from agencies and banks that is owed to me.
If I am working at least times three a week, create a realistic budget.

Big Goal: Have a welcoming home.
Little goals for October: Get some sofas.
Devise a laundry system of some sort.
Clear out recycling packaging from the back.

Big Goal: To feel more put together as a person
Little goal for October:: Take an hour off from my to do list and chores every week to have some pampering time.

Big Goal: To be able to do my own face in simple, flattering make up
Little goal for October: Buy some make up and experiment

Wednesday 9 October 2013

Playing Catch-Up: Eliminating The Reasons Your Hair Isn't Growing As Fast

Phew! That's a pretty long title!

I was over on BGLH, as per usual, when I came across this fantastic article called: 4 Reasons Her Hair Seems to Grow Faster Than Yours. It's a typically brilliant, straight to the point by JC of The Natural Haven. No messing about - just direct advice and I would definitely recommend you give it a read in full if you feel you're struggling with length retention compared with you

We all know that if Lady A is the one who reaches waist length in 3 years with seemingly no effort, and Lady B is stuck at shoulder length after 5 years of intent (now bordering on desperate) care, I'm in the Lady B camp. So I wanted to look at myself next to it, to see how I'm doing.

1. She makes her own rules 
It's taken me a while to get around to this one. I used to do what I was 'supposed' to, since this was the first time handling my own hair, so I didn't want to get it wrong. Plus, I didn't have previous experience to refer to, so everything was new.  I had to experiment a lot before deciding the Denman was an over zealous,over efficient, strand eating demon; that finger detangling and not shower combs were the way for me; that it doesn't seem to make a difference if I detangle dry, damp or wet, but detangling in the shower is just more convenient. I wash when my scalp feels it needs it and yes, I do wash my hair whilst it's in mini twists - that going 4 weeks without water business doesn't work for me. Shampoo? Yes please, with or without sulphates. Actually, looking at other naturals with fine hair actually helped confirm some of these choices and 'rules' as well.

It's a process, both tiring and exhausting in the same breathe. But I'm extremely hopeful for the rest of 2013 and for 2014 too. I have a feeling it's going to be a great year.

Grade: A-
2. She leaves her hair alone

Well, I do only do my length checks intermittently - annually, in fact. And I lost my scissors earlier this year and made a pact with myself not to buy some more. 

However, on a regular basis, if my hair isn't in mini twists, my hands will be in my hair all the time. If I'm wearing buns, it seems it needs more handling: to make sure it's stretched; to make sure it's moisturised; to make sure I'm not putting too much tension on my roots and edges.. I can't help it - it's so much fun! It's more than hair - it's an entertainment system too, haha! 

Okay, maybe I should try and work on this more....

Grade: C+

3. She understands and avoids breakage 

So far, I know that continually touching my hair a.k.a high manipulation is not very good with my hair. That and being too rough. 
Sometimes, however, I admit, I don't care. Like, if I have a difficult knot and no scissors, and I've been working at it for 5 minutes with no joy nor progress, I might just tug at it to snap it off rather than looking for my scissors.
I also haven't considered what causes these knots in the first place, which seems a rather obvious thing to do to avoid breakage.
Oh, and I've been sleeping on a cotton pillowcase for the past 3 months - I tried with a satin bonnet but keeps coming off in the night.
However, even apart from my bad habits, I still suffer from random bits of breakage and I have no idea what causes it.

Maybe it's my bad habits combined....Eeeek!

Grade: F

4. She experiments with products

Well, I can definitely say I'm doing this. I've started looking at non-Curly Girl method products (products with silicones in them) over the summer to negate some of the abuse I'd be doling out whilst working out my wedding hair. What I'm hoping is that I end up with a small arsenal of products that a) work for me, b) don't cost too much (subjective, I know), c) aren't a hassle to get a hold of and d) just fit conveniently into my life, rather than me having to fit my life around my products. I'd quite like them to be eco-friendly and biodegradable as well, but that sometimes clashes heavily with the d) convenient and c) aren't a hassle to get hold of. So we'll see where I end up. But I'm having fun getting there anyway. 

Grade: A

Final Grade - C: Average.
Yeah, the combination of my awful breakage habits in the past months has definitely meant less length retention, but I knew touching my hair on a regular basis would do that and expected it, so no biggie.There's no excuse for the sleeping on a cotton pillowcase - gotta get my silk satin pillow case out right after finishing this! There's definitely a lot I can stand to improve on, habit-wise.

 I'm having fun with the experimenting and rule breaking though - feels like fun and freedom in the same room!

Tuesday 1 October 2013

Hey There!

I have, in the past 6 months, moved between 3 countries, 5 cities, over 10 towns and many, many houses.

There have been cards, presents, far too much packing and an obscene excess of goodbyes to people I desperately want to see again. Many shenanigans, not always of my own making *glares at computer*

I have moved house twice, celebrated the birthdays of 6 family members', not including the birth of a new one) and gotten married (just once. Or maybe twice, depending on who you ask).

In short, I’m utterly knackered

As you might have guessed, looking after my hair (and myself in general) has taken a long back seat and hasn’t really been a priority of mine, despite its appearance being a looming focus for myself and many an aunt (more on that later).

I feel like I've completely fallen off the bandwagon of feeling bothered with my appearance and, after finally purchasing a mirror and taking a look at my ghastly reflection within, I'm more than desperate to climb back on.

Starting with the basics of course...