Heat Damage!

I have been natural for almost 3 years now and I am usually very apprehensive about getting my hair straightened or cut. In December 2013, I had my hair blown out, straightened and curled with a ceramic hair dryer and iron. I wanted a different look for a holiday party that I was attending. As the stylist worked on my hair, I was very excited to see the final look.

straight hairUpon leaving the salon, I was riding home in my car and notice my hair smelled burnt. Apparently the stylist had the ceramic iron set too high and my hair is suffering the consequences. After wearing my hair straight for two weeks, I washed it and immediately I could tell the difference. My hair felt much thinner than before. My hair shed excessively over the next few weeks. UGH! I feel like I always face some set back to growing my mane to my desired dream length.

What is a girl to do? Well, its back to protective styling for me. I currently have micro braids which I LOVE! I have also started using the Hairfinity Vitamins. They are supposed to increase healthy hair growth.

hairfinityI will do a product review after I have finished my first bottle. Here is the link to their site: www.hairfinity.com

Lessons learned: 1. Find a stylist skilled in natural hair when its time to trim or straighten my hair. 2. Check the heat level on the stylist’s ceramic iron for myself. 3. No more trips to the Haircuttery!

Birthday Parties for Tots

Of course it hard to keep a mom from bringing up her kids, so here is the first post in the Kiddie Kronicles.

Birthdays are such a big deal for parents and children. Hosting birthday parties for toddlers may seem easy but can wind up being a lot of work. Toddlers don’t have a wish list when it comes to birthdays so its all on the parents to make the event fun and memorable. My son’s first birthday was at Romp and Roll. They took care of everything from setting up to cleaning up and all I had to do was bring the food. At 2, my son was infatuated with Thomas the Train. Around this same time I had become a Pinterest junkie an figured with the help of Pinterest I would host his second birthday at home. The theme of course was Thomas the Train/Anything Train. Pinterest became my personal assistant in pulling it all together. The site’s links sent me to Amazon, RTD Trading, Party City and of course DIY land.

Each child received a personalized gift bag that included conductor hats (Amazon), red bandanas (Amazon), train sippy cups (RTD Trading), bubbles and stickers (Party City). The gift bags were also a diy project. i purchase multi-colored bag sets and train ribbon from Micheal’s Arts & Craft Store and made the railroad signs with the kid’s name on them.

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The food table was decorated with items from Party City and handmade RxR signs (made using poster board and cut our printed letters). The red, blue and green items were purchased a the Dollar Tree.

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I found ceiling decoration idea I on Pinterest and used it in the playroom. I used plastic table cloths and balloons from the Dollar Tree to create this. I stapled the table clothes to the ceiling because they were too heavy to tape. I wasn’t concerned with holes left from the staples because I have popcorn ceilings which I plan to remove sooner or later. The table cloth colors coordinated with the theme. The balloon arrangement was just tied together and tied there to cover were the table cloths met and to add decoration.

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Railroad tracks (another Pinterest idea) lined the walkway to the house. I simply used black masking tape to create.

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Activities included: Train table station, Inflatable train ball pit (Toys r Us), Train tube, and for the older kids Playdough and model trains projects (Micheal’s).

Screenshot_2013-10-15-23-39-22 And last but not least the cake! I bought a smaller cake since I also had cupcakes. Overall, I spent around $200 for food and decorations. Just about the same amount I spent the year before. This year his birthday will be what he calls a “Jake Party”. Stay tuned for adventures with Jake and the Neverland Pirates Party meets a soccer birthday bash!

Slideshow Natural Hair Journey

Rhoneika Ikia

From March 2010 to Feb 2012

Link

My hair is supposed to be NINE inches longer!!!

What! Yes since returning to 100% chemical-free hair, I have cut a total of 9 inches off…Let’s start at the beginning.  I begged my mother for my first relaxer in the 10th grade (1997/1998) because I wanted my hair to be fried and laid to the side like my peers.  I stayed hooked to the cream crack for nearly 12 years!  My hair would grow up to a certain point then the growth would be stunted by breakage, split-ends, heat damage and/or color damage.  During these 12 years at my hair being around the same length, my brother grew 24-inch locs in 4 years!!!  If his hair could grow that long in four years my hair could do the same.  So with the mindset that I would “baby” my hair. While pregnant with my one and only son I made the decision to return to the good side in 2010.  I transitioned from relaxed to natural with braids and twist extensions.  Then when my natural hair grew to about 3 inches long, I cut my relaxed hair off.  Then I continued to style my hair with cornrolls, twists and braids for most of a year.  To view my hair journey thus far click this link –> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z4zTKTFKHHU
 
This is the part of the story were it getting really scary…About 2 years into my going natural I asked my Ma to cut my hair.  I only asked her to even it out.  At this time my hair was just past shoulders.  She cut more then what I asked her! About 2 inches of my hair was on the floor!  Then about a year later, I cut about 3 inches off trying to even it out.  When I hair was armpit length I flat ironed it to found out my split-ends had split-end and I my head was a frizzy mess.  It’s not a very good idea to trim your hair and sip on an adult beverage at the same d@mn time.  I got very scissor happy and cut like 4 inches off but my split-ends were gone, that was Feb 2013.  I have recently checked my hair length and it has almost grown back to the length it was in Feb. I have challenged myself to only cut my hair on an as needed basis.
 
Learn from my mistakes and please have patience that I did not have.  Baby your hair!  Looking back I don’t have one good reason to chop-off that much hair.  I could be 9 inches closer to my hair length goal.  But anywho it is never too late to be good to my hair.
 
XOXO  Rhoneika Ikia

Move Something! Winter Challenge

NaturallyUsBlog is about finding the path to being the best Us. This journey also includes getting healthy from within. That is the theory behind the Move Something! Winter Challenge. In the winter months many of us seem to lose the motivation to workout. By time we have eaten our way through the holidays, we seem to wind up in the same predicament at the start of each new year…incorporating weight loss goals into our New Year’s resolutions.

The purpose of the Move Something! Challenge is to provide motivation while on the path of becoming a healthier you! We will start out easy and work our way through this together. Our first challenge is to Move Something! for 20-30 minutes daily and ensure we are watering our bodies sufficiently each day.

Here are some suggestions:

  • Walk around the neighborhood
  • Cable Network On Demand fitness workouts (start easy)
  • YouTube 20/30 Minute Workouts

Here is an example of a 20 Minute Low Impact Workout that you can use to start this challenge:

One Mile Walk Workout you can do at home:

The second part of the challenge is to make sure you are getting enough water daily. Try the Water Your Body app. It reminds you to drink water drink water everyday and tracks your intake. The app is available on iTunes and the Google Play.

Water Your Body

Water Your Body

 

MOVE SOMETHING! and stay tuned for Part Two of the Challenge…

Share your Move Something! progress in the comments!

 

Growing My Mane

My last relaxer was in August of 2009. I was tired of my thinning relaxed hair and going natural seemed a viable option. My transitioning process dragged on for almost a year because I was not willing to do the “BIG Chop”.  Rods, twist-outs, braids and blow outs were my only styles for 11 months until I was ready to cut the remainder of my relaxed hair off. For someone who wore long weaves for years, I was not in love with my new short mane. I had my hair straightened, continued with braids and wore blow-out twist outs for the next 2 1/2 years. I started to notice all of the video bloggers that I was following on YouTube experience substantial hair growth from protective styling while my hair was at a stand still. In May 2013, I finally decided to give protective styling a try. I began searching the internet for options and came across a video posted by Alex Elle of The Good Hair Blog. There I found information and videos on Marley Twist. Eureka! I found something easy and cute. Marley Twist are simply twist using Marley hair. Marley braiding hair can be found at any hair supply store. The average cost is $5/pack. I challenged myself to commit to protective styling for the next year, starting with Marley Twist.  I wore the twist consistently from May to August and had my sister redo them every 3-4 weeks.

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Top corner: Blow-out then twist-out in April 2013; Top left and bottom right: Marley twist; Bottom right: Wet set braid out with no heat!

I am a believer! Protective styling is the key to growing MY hair! I also incorporated a few other elements to assist in my hair growth process.

  • No heat
  • Moisturizing my hair using water mist, oils and leave-in conditioner while in twist
  • Increase daily water intake
  • Added vitamin supplements to my daily routine: Biotin & Vitamin E

My plan is to install Marley twist for another month or so. My hair has been out for over a month and its definitely time to to put it away again for a while so I am searching for my next protective style. A natural hair weave from the Heat Free Hair Movement company is at the top of the list for now but I’m still looking. To be continued…

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. The first sign of breast cancer is usually a lump or an abnormal mammogram. Conducting monthly breast exams at home and getting routine mammograms can lead to early detection.  The five year survival rate is 90% when caught early. The link below will guide you through that process. I am definitely guilty of not doing this on a routine basis but, its an important exam to incorporate in our busy schedules.

http://www.nationalbreastcancer.org/breast-self-exam

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