July 31, 2012

25 Pounds Down - Feeling Like My Old Self

As I power walked at 5 mph, I pushed the treadmill to 8.5 on incline.

The sweat plummeted from my head and onto my Kindle Fire. Streaks of success stained my tablet as I tried to wipe it clean. I let out a cackle in between my heavy breathes. My eyes were glued to the chuckle-worthy book I was reading, Feminista by Erica Kennedy. Kick Up The Epic Motherfucker by Dada Life echoed in my ears and I felt at peace. I was finally having the hard workout I had been craving but couldn't really do when I was 25 pounds heavier. "How did I get here?" I thought. It took a while, but I got here.

My big secret (besides Bikram Yoga) is I mainly eat three meals a day. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Sometimes I snack, and if I do, it's fruit. I tried the eat five small meals a day thing and that didn't work. That's too much food for me and I think it takes too much effort to remember to eat FIVE times a day—haha. I pretty much trained my tummy to get used to eating smaller portions and it's doing my waist line wonders! The key is that those three meals must be healthy, filled with the right amount of protein, veggies, and grains.

Eat right, workout, and the fat shall die.

Got any weight loss tips?

July 30, 2012

How To Pick The Right Scalp Oil

>BB's Super Gro

When it comes to oiling my scalp (#BlackGirlProblems), I've been a Sulfur 8 devotee for many years. It kept my crusty dandruff scalp in check...for the most part. However, I recently started noticing it wasn't doing the job (flakes, flakes, falling everywhere).

I asked Ron, my hairdresser, which type of scalp oil I should get. Never one to claim one product as the end all be all, he grabbed a jar of the stuff he uses on my hair and asked me to touch it. Ron said that it was best I feel the texture of the oil to know what I should be looking for, stating that it's important for the the product to at least contain vitamin a, e, and d.

And so, I was on the hunt for a new scalp oil. I did the touch test (should feel light, not thick) and checked the ingredients. A big fan of the yummy coconut-y smell in BB's Super Gro, I chose it. So far, so good. My scalp hasn't been that itchy or full of flakes. Apparently, it's also great at growing hair, but I'm not using it for that reason. My hair grows at a rate I love!

Do you have a scalp oil you like to use?

July 24, 2012

Been There Done That: Caviar Manicure

ciate caviar nail polish ciate caviar nail polish

I finally did it! For a while I've been meaning to try this look, and I'm happy to report it's pretty simple to execute.

All you have to do is use the polish provided to coat your nail and then pour on the caviar pearls. I did notice that you couldn't paint all your nails at once, and then dab on the tiny balls because the polish dries within a matter of seconds. Either way, the steps are as simple as this:

*Paint your nail
*Apply the pearls
*Repeat

I probably didn't wait long enough for the polish to dry, but the balls began to sprinkle off rapidly, so I removed the lacquer. The good part is that the caviar pearls come off swiftly with nail polish remover.

Have you tried a caviar manicure?

July 17, 2012

Sorry I Haven't Been Putting Up Posts

I think I have carpal tunnel. Womp. A certain muscle in my arm hurts/burns/feels sore all the way down to my middle finger. Anyone ever have carpal tunnel? Either way, I need a break from typing. I will be back next week with a Dove giveaway!!

July 9, 2012

I'm in Love: Dove VisibleCare Toning Body Wash

dove visible toning body wash
I love, love, love, loooooooooove Dove. That's no secret. I stupidly strayed away from their body wash, but um, came crawling back as my skin was cracking crying for the Dove touch.

For the past month, I have been using their new VisibleCare Toning Body Wash. It claims to restore your skin’s elasticity and strength. The body wash is enhanced with vitamin e and the highest concentration of NutriumMoisture—Dove's patent moisturizing complex that nourishes deep into the skin's surface.

I was skeptical, y'all. I seriously did not expect my already smooth skin—I've been moisturizing every. single. day since I was a kid—to look and feel better than it already does. Nonetheless, this body wash is worth a try!

July 6, 2012

How You Can Get Ziana For $20

ziana coupon

When I switched to Ziana back in October, a reader told me her insurance stopped covering the acne gel. I never ran into the issue of having to pay an arm and a leg for the topical until now.

I pulled up to the pharmacy drive thru to grab my filled prescription a couple weeks ago and the Pharmacist said, "That'll be $250."

I almost choked. How did Ziana go from costing me $50 to $250?! WHAT IN THE WHAT WHAT?! Needless to say, I didn't fork over the money. The Pharmacist was nice enough to let me know that I could get a coupon online. And she was right! Here's how you do it if you have insurance. There's a way to do it if you don't have insurance, but I'm not quite sure of that procedure.

1. Click here to sign up for Ziana's Medicis MediSAVE Program.

2. Call MediSAVE to "activate" your card, which means just giving them you and your doctor's information.

3. Call your Dermatologist and have them fax over a prescription to MediSAVE. They should have the information. If not, ask MediSAVE.

4. You will be charged $20.

5. A tube of Ziana will be dropped off at your doorstep.

6. Repeat the third step when your tube is finished.

Now that's what I call beating the system.

July 5, 2012

Relaxed Hair Tip: Do Not Air Dry!

Relaxed Hair Tip: Do Not Air Dry!

I got a perm over the weekend and as always it turned into a learning session with my stylist, Ron. This time he reiterated the importance of blow drying my hair.

I told him that I air dried my hair the week prior and he was not happy. He already scolded me in the past for not blow drying my hair completely, so I saw this coming. Ron said that relaxed hair looks the way it is dried. Air dry it and your hair will look frizzy and brittle. Blow dry it and your hair will look shiny and strong.

In addition, air drying permed hair doesn't allow the bonds from the chemicals to react properly. Thus, leaving you hair susceptible to breakage. We don't want broken strands, do we?

I'm Going To Be Wearing Press-Ons For Days!

im-press press-on nails

They're baaaack! I got my hands fingernails on a bunch of imPRESS press-on nails. Remember theeese?! Aaand, I will be sticking them on and off for the next couple weeks. I'm just so amazed at how real-looking they are.

I have discovered that these nails only work if you have short nail beds. Sorry long nail bed girls, you get no press-on love. :(

Been There Done That: Mattifying Gel

OC8 Mattifying Gel

I was recently introduced to mattifying gel and I am wondering (well, singing), "WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN, ALL MY LIIIIIFE?!"

Between my cleanser and OC8 Mattifying Gel, my face has never been more oil-free than ever. EVER. E-V-E-R. I've been using it sparingly because I am very wary about what I put on my face and I don't know if my skin will fight the mattifier by making my skin more oily. But for now, this product is doing my skin justice.

Do you use a mattifying gel?

Dara Gets Fit: 20 Lbs. Lighter

The month of June was not a good month for me in regards to yoga. I went a handful of times, instead of my normal three-days a week sessions. I got caught up with work, but this month I am putting my foot mat down. Yogi Dara is back.

In other health news, I lost 20 lbs. It's taken me almost a year of exercise and healthy eating to finally tip the scale, but it's going down and it will keep going down. I've picked up a new exercise routine with a combination of 90 minute yoga and 60 minute cardio. Not all in one day of course.

I also found that portion control when eating has seriously helped. I've gone from being the person to finish a meal fit for two, to being satisfied with a child-size plate.

I don't have a goal weight, which is bad. You're supposed to have one when dropping the pounds. Really, I just want to feel healthy and like what I see in the mirror. I'm amazed at how different I feel from just dropping 20 pounds.

Dara gets fit is doing WERK.
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