Prepping My Hair for Travel {Protective Styling}

This past year, I've been rocking the protective hair styles out of necessity more than anything else. But what I've learned through it all is that even when life is really busy, it's best to sacrifice a day to get a long-lasting protective style (only if that works for you and your hair though) in order to save your hair in the long run.

I can't lie and say that I've done the best by my hair even when it was in a protective style, but I love the ease of hair wash days when my hair is in extension twists.  My scalp thanks me for such an easy process.  I also love being able to look presentable at a moment's notice because your hair is basically done...all the time.

But needless to say, after having your hair in a protective style for 3 months at a time, there is a deep loss in not being able to touch your own natural strands.  So, I always have a break between protective styles, not only for my hair's sake, but for mine!  At the end of the school year, I took down my extension twists, rocked my own two strand twists for a bit, and then had my hair recolored to hide those ever-increasing gray hairs.

Now as I prep for my trip to Belize, I want to have an easy style that doesn't involve long faux strands hanging down my back.  It's much too hot for that.  I mean, in my own city, we have daily temps hovering around 100 F and the heat index makes it even more intense.  So, I can only imagine what it feels like in Central America right about now.

This time I opted for crochet twists.  I've never tried them before, but have been wanting to for a little while now.  Already, I can say that I'm enjoying them.  The process to have them installed was a little over 2 hours which does not compare to the usual 6-8 hours of individual extension twists.  And, this is more economical (at least the upfront cost).  I'll let you know how long these last and then I can give a more accurate account.  But as for now, I'm pleased.

I'm also pleased that my hair did not fall out over the year, truth-be-told. Instead, it grew!  Stoked!!!

I didn't comb my hair out fully, but it definitely grew and is super thick! 
My stylist cornrowed my hair with extensions before crocheting the other hair in
Here's a bit of a sneak peek
Half done!
All done.  It's super light.  You like?
Now it's time to pack!

Guess Who's Growing an....?


Several months back, I opted for avocado instead of mayonnaise on my sandwich for lunch.  Many of my students were fascinated with the avocado, mostly because they hadn't seen one or seen the seed of one before.  After the question of What is that? was answered, the follow up question was, Can we plant it?

But of course!  Now I know that I don't live in the proper climate to truly produce fruit, but I'm pretty sure the tree could still grow.  So, the students researched how to plant the seed and shared the tasks of prepping the seed for it's new home in a mason jar full of water.

For months we watched the seed, squealed over any new sign of life forming, and left the year with the hope for an avocado tree.

I changed the water in the jar, placed the seed in my kitchen windowsill and literally forgot about it.  Now, when I placed the seed jar in the window, there was already a root at the bottom and a little plant peeking through one of the cracks of the seed.  Imagine my surprise the other day to see that plant sitting tall in the air on a branch!  I just had to share it with you.

What new plant have you tried growing lately?

July's Tea of the Month: Sweet Organic Matcha Green Tea


Matcha green tea seems to be a buzzword these days.  So in an imaginary, but very plausible conversation (probably in a health food store or on a tea aisle), it would go something like this:

Person #1:  So do you like green tea?
Person #2:  Of course, I love green tea.
Person #1:  What about matcha green tea?  Have you tried matcha?
Person #2:  No, but I drink green tea after my meals and sometimes I use it in my smoothies.  It's all about those antioxidants, right?
Person #1:  For real.  Green tea is life!  But if you're all about antioxidants, you've got to try matcha green tea.  It's like THE green tea of all green teas.

(conversation continues as Person #2 reaches for a canister of matcha green tea)

After all the hype about matcha green tea, I really wanted to try it.  So, when I was afforded the opportunity to choose four sample selections of tea from the Full Leaf Tea Company, matcha green tea was one of my choices.  The company offered several varieties of matcha green tea, but I decided upon Organic Sweet Matcha Original.  This tea is a blend of organic cane sugar and premium matcha green tea from Japan.

It is a super fine tea, so I wondered how to properly infuse it, only to discover that this tea powder can be added as-is into a hot cup of water or a smoothie.  It's versatile like that.

Upon some research, I discovered that matcha green tea has a plethora of benefits:
  • promotes calm
  • loaded with antioxidants
  • increased energy levels
  • supports weight loss
These are just a few, but enough for me to be excited about trying it.  Now, I believe that having a couple of cups of matcha won't determine how it benefits the body, but this Full Leaf Organic Sweet Matcha Original was good enough to keep me trying.

Do you drink matcha green tea?  If so, what benefits have you noticed?

Disclaimer:  Although I was provided free samples of tea from the Full Leaf Tea company, these are my honest opinions of their tea.

Budget Friendly "Green" Decor


By no means do I have a true green thumb.  But that doesn't mean that I don't enjoy the beauty that green plants provide.  Perusing through my local Lowe's Hardware store, I spoke with a sales clerk in the indoor plant section.  She showed me one of the plants in the Exotic Angel Plant line that she was marking down to $1.00.  After showing me, on her phone, these gorgeous orchids that she was able to care for, she directed me to these clearance priced orchid plants.  They were beautiful too, but I'm not ready for such a delicate plant.  Instead, I saw a dead plant in a pretty planter.  So, she marked it down to $2.00.  Needless to say, I spent $3.00 that day.  And I'm glad I did.

I removed a few dead pieces here and there, discarded a dead plant, wiped the smudge off of the new planter, and voila - I had a new plant friend to add to my home. 

I chose to place this plant on the helper shelf in the bathroom, and I love it beside my hand-painted gourd.

How do you decorate your home on a budget?  Do you use plants to fill in empty spaces in your home?

Happy Summer,