Thanks to Peter Minkoff  for taking his time to write this wonderful article.  Take it away, Peter!
            The fashion industry has seen plenty of changes in recent years; fashion trends, ideals and expectations have been moving in a rather positively surprising direction – the curvy girl.
And while skeletal, sickly girls used to occupy every fashion designer’s attention keeping such frame an ideal and absolute trend, the rise of curvy models, so called plus size women, became both fashion and women movement, encouraging women of all sizes to embrace their gorgeous bodies and enjoy the ride.
With pretty aggressive campaigns, a voice that won’t let be muffled and the idea of a world where body-shaming of any kind is the thing of the past, these lovely women are redefining what society considers beautiful. Even some of the hottest designers are putting their guards down, like Clements Ribiero who designed a standout collection for full-figured women.
However, prejudice is ever more existing; skeleton look-alikes still occupy runways and magazine covers but the hope is there and the change – imminent. In the mean time, we’ll focus on plus size trends for the upcoming season and discuss some of the best pieces that will complement your gorgeous, curvy figure.
1. Crop tops
crop tops.jpg
                Crop tops were brought back in style by the Kardashian/Jenner clan and we thank them for that. Crop tops are a perfect solution for any body type. Depending how you style them, they can go from a complementing piece to a fabulous skirt or jeans or be a statement piece that carries the whole outfit. For the upcoming season, choose bold patterns and colors that will promote a happy vibe!
2. Tube skirts/dresses
Tube skirts-dresses.jpg
             Again, the Kardashian clan’s doing! These fabulous types of skirts or dresses are the perfect solution for anyone who is looking to flaunt their curves and feel like a million dollars! The accentuate the waist, hips and derriere in all the right places! Paired up with a fashionable pair of pumps and a cropped top, this outfit is a dream come true for all of us full-figured women. To keep the chick looks but add a bit of “bad girl” vibe to it, opt for a biker jacket on top and daring jewelry.
Both crop tops and tube skirts and dresses are reminiscent of previous year’s fashion but we simply can’t get enough of it!
3. Shorts, bare arms, wraps
3. Shorts, bare arms, wraps.jpg
             This summer (and every other of that matter) exercise your right to skinny and light outfits! Jean shorts, americana shirts in light materials, interesting patterns and colors and wraps are the absolute hit for the upcoming season. Even though curvy women are often advised to avoid anything short and revealing, don’t! Enjoy your figure and wear whatever feels fabulous.
4. Flowy dresses
flovy.jpg
             There is probably nothing as amazing as a flowy dress on a curvy girl, especially during summertime. Waist fitted with a flowy bottom, these dresses will give your silhouette that elegant, light vibe and an inevitable confidence boost! Opt for literally any color and you’ll look fabulous!
5. Color your life up!
colors.jpg
                  Owing to the trendy plus size fashion we can finally get a breather and forget about the All Black Everything fashion that we are often told to wear. Obviously, black is a perfectly acceptable option for those chic, romantic nights but it shouldn’t be and it mustn’t be the only color plus size women wear, especially not during the summer.
Mimic the vibrancy of the summer season with bright colors! Give your wardrobe that extra pop with the right accessories like flower crowns, bags, earrings, interesting neck pieces, bold makeup and a pretty little ensemble as base.
Also, don’t shy away from whites even though white is supposedly “widening”. Who cares, really! Opt for an All White Everything chic, summer combo that will turn heads!

              I think I left you with a cliffhanger last week. Oh yeah! We wanted to know if the hair tangles. Well,  I did have some knots. It was nothing major, but I could see the curls creating their own little bows by hugging each other and themselves. So, I washed the hair only after two weeks of installing it. I prepared myself for the worse because I thought there was going to be a lot of shedding, curl loss, or having to tighten the extensions. Although I had some minor shedding, I did not have to tighten the hair, and I did not lose much curls. The hair still looks pretty good. It is very important that you take care of your own hair while it is braided under a wig or extensions. Not doing so can result in your hair being too oily or sticky, depending on how often you oil your scalp while wearing the protective style.  A dry shampoo can be used to take care of your scalp, but never forget that water is your best friend when it comes to keeping your hair moisturized. Washing the hair at least twice a month is very important to keep the scalp healthy, too.

#WashDayExperience

The Wash Day ExperiencePre-poo:: I applied Tresemme Moisture rich conditioner directly to the extensions and combed the hair from ends to roots. I used rubber bands to keep each section in place after detangling the hair.
Shampoo:: I diluted my shampoo and applied it directly to my scalp. I rubbed my scalp gently to remove the product buildups.
Conditioning  My conditioning really happened when I removed the rubber bands and rinsed out the conditioner from the extensions.
Drying   I squeezed the excess water out from the curls with the help of a towel.
Leave-ins I carefully oiled my scalp without drenching the extensions with oil. This hair does not need any gel, leave-in conditioner, or oil. It comes with it's own shine.

Hair of the week




           The difference between the before and after picture is that the curls are tighter in the before picture, and therefore looks less messy.  You can even see some flyaway(s) in this week's picture. After combing the hair before washing it, I could tell that the curls did not feel the same way they did last week.  After washing the hair, I pinned the back into a bob. I also trimmed the straight ends. I could go another two weeks with the extensions on because I still have some curls left, but I think that's it for me. I miss creating different hairstyles with my hair. Let's see what next week brings!! What do you think of this week's hair? 

Product Description (by Keeva)

              Have you noticed changes in your skin lately? Staying out in the sun too much, not getting enough sleep, worrying too much, not eating a proper diet or just getting older can wreak havoc on your skin. And if you're like most women, you've tried product after product that claims to be the best anti-wrinkle cream to recapture that beautiful, youthful skin you feel like you've lost.
But now there is a solution to skin problems, such as wrinkles and dark circles under the eyes. Keeva's anti-aging cream is simply one of the best anti-aging cream on the market today. It's not only an anti-wrinkle cream that you can use an an eye cream; It's like a facelift in a bottle!
Keeva works even if you have oily skin and don't dry your skin out. It feels cold on your face when you put it on with a gel-like feeling.
Contains proven anti-aging ingredients, including hyaluronic acid, organic jojoba oil, shea butter, retinol, and vitamins C and E
100% safe with absolutely no side effects unlike some other anti-aging products
Created with no animal testing and made with only vegan-approved ingredients
More than just moisturizing it's also one of the best under eye creams and anti-aging creams
Stop wishing those black circles under your eyes would go away. Stop looking around for anti-aging creams.

Indications

Why Keeva? Our intense formula penetrates acne, detoxifying the skin, shrinking pores, and controlling excess sebum incretion to prevent future blemishes. Acne scars fade quickly while skin luster and health improves.

Ingredients

Ingredients Tea Tree Oil, Vitamin E, Sophora Root Extract, Deionized Water, IP CLEAN HX1 (pure solvent), 3-Butanediol (organic alcohol used as a solvent and viscosity-decreasing agent), Squalane (natural antioxidant and absorbing agent), Isooctyl Palmitat (palm oil extract used as a solvent, carrying agent, pigment wetting agent, fragrance fixative and an organic replacement to silicone), Isopropyl Myristate (naturally occurring fatty acid that helps absorption), Ami Methylglycine (natural anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory), Cetearyl Glucoside (natural facial moisturizer derived from coconut oil), Glycerinum (natural sugar-alcohol compound used as a cleanser), Polydimethylsiloxane (anti-foaming agent, skin protectant and conditioner), Salicylic Acid (obtained from the bark of willow trees, removes dead skin cells (Exfoliation) and acts as an anti-irritant and anti-inflammatory) Phenoxyethanol (safe preservative), DL-Menthol (natural extract from peppermint designed to refresh, revitalize, and enliven the skin) Hyaluronic Acid (naturally found in the human body and is a powerful moisture-binding ingredient that keeps skin plump, hydrated and, young-looking)

Directions

Directions Apply a dime-sized amount of cream to your finger and massage gently onto any pimples or spots. Leave it on for a few hours or overnight before washing your face. The redness and swelling should decrease.


My opinion 
     
             Keeva Tea Tree Oil Acne Treatment Cream is a white, very fine texture cream that goes on the skin smoothly and starts working right away. I could feel the cooling effect right after applying the product. This product is formulated to remove acne and leaves the skin feeling very soft. The first thing that I noticed is how the product is nicely packaged. It comes in a clear glass jar that looks really fancy. I can totally recycle this jar to store up my DIY  beauty products. Keeva Tea Tree Oil Acne Treatment Cream  works by drying up the pimples without irritating the skin.  Aside from making my face feel oily, I think this is a really good product. It can be used even on very sensitive and dry skin. I did not notice any skin irritations while using the product. I use it at night before going to bed and wash my face the next morning. After using it for almost a month, I can tell that my skin really loves it. My skin looks lighter, softer,  and I have noticed less blackheads and blemishes. The product does not work as fast as I expected, but I think I am getting some good results.

Pros
  • Nicely packaged 
  • Great texture 
  • Goes smoothly on the skin and disappear quickly 
  • Moisturizing 
  • Reduces dark spots 
  • Improves skin tone
  • Helps fight acne 
Cons
  • Oily
  • No SPF
The bottom line

             If you have dry, sensitive skin and you are looking for a product to treat your stubborn acne, this product is worth giving a try. But if your skin is already oily, this product can make it feel and look greasy. Now my face looks greasy even when I don't have the product on. This is the only downside for me. Have you tried this product before?

*This product was sent to me for review purposes, but the opinions expressed here are my own. *

            Hi guys!! I decided to do something different with the hair this month. I got so addicted to crochet braids that I forgot how useful a good sew-in can be. After washing my hair last week, I installed a pack of Que by Milky Way Human Hair Mastermix. I always say that curly hair is so forgiving, and this one is no  different. I bought this pack for less than $8.00, but for every track of this hair I installed, I also installed a track of Brazilian Remy hair in the same color. Otherwise, I would have needed two packs instead of one. I am proud to say that my head is not small. Mastermix simply means that it is a mixture of both natural and synthetic hair. The Brazilian hair makes it look even more natural. Does that hair shed? Of course it does! But so far I have not noticed any tangles. I will tell you more when I wash it next week.

#WashDayExperience

Pre-poo:  detangled my hair with my TREsemme Moisture Rich conditioner.

The Wash Day Experience
Shampoo:  washed my scalp with Biosilk sulfate free shampoo.

Conditioning:  TREsemme Moisture rich conditioner.

Deep treatment:  a quick protein treatment on my ends only to get my hair ready for the extensions. I also used a moisturizing deep conditioner to keep things balanced.

Leave-ins: Garnier Fruictis Leave-in conditioner + my Shea butter mix.


Hair of the Week





              It took me six hours to do my hair. I started at 8 in the morning and finished at 2 PM. I used a crochet hook to do the middle part. I will try to keep this style on for at least a month. Hopefully the hair will not tangle after the first wash. Haha!  What do you think about my new do?

                With thousands of hair conditioners on your local beauty supply store shelves, how do you decide which ones to leave the store with? Knowing which ingredients will work best for your hair type is very important in deciding which product to buy. If you have extremely dry hair, you should look for ingredients that provide moisture. But if your hair feels dull or over-moisturized, look for ingredients that strengthen the hair. It all comes down to knowing your hair's need and reading your ingredient labels.

How to Decide Which Conditioner Your Hair Needs


Rinse-out conditioners

           These conditioners are used on the hair for detangling purposes. Some of them may come with a shampoo that you can use before conditioning the hair, but some don't. You may see words like volumizing, fortifying, nourishing, or hydrating on the bottles when looking for a rinse-out conditioner. Whatever word the brand uses to catch your attention, most rinse-out conditioners should be left on the hair for no more than 5 minutes because their job is to provide nourishment to the outer layer of the hair shaft. These conditioners make the hair feel silkier, shinier, or easier to comb through by smoothing the cuticle layers. Whether you have oily, dry, or normal hair, it is always recommended to use a rinse-out conditioner to restore moisture lost from the hair during shampooing. These conditioners are easy to find and they are great to have if you are on a healthy hair routine.

Deep conditioners

              Repair conditioners also known as treatment conditioners, are deep conditioners formulated to penetrate the hair shaft. They are often left on the hair for 10-20 minutes to provide a more penetrating treatment. A hair dryer is sometimes used  to speed up the process. The formulas used in these conditioners include ingredients that restore either protein or moisture back to the hair.

Protein packs or protein deep conditioners are formulated to gently swell the hair and allow the ingredients to pass through the hair shaft and add protein to the cortex of the hair. This process restores the strength and elasticity of the hair. Getting a protein treatment also help your hairstyles look better and last longer. Whether to get a protein treatment or not depends on you hair's needs. Severely weak and brittle hair require a high-protein repair conditioner that can strengthen the hair. Deep protein treatments should be used only once a week until the damage is repaired. Using a moisturizing rinse-out conditioner after each protein treatment, followed by your regular leave- ins will help balance your hair's protein and moisture.

Moisture rich or moisturizing deep conditioners are specially good for hair that gets dry easily. My naturally kinky, coarse, 4c hair falls into that category. These conditioners contain moisture agents that fully penetrate the hair shaft. They also contain ingredients that smooth the cuticles to lock the moisture in once it's been added.

Leave-in conditioners 

             Leave-in conditioners are designed to be added to the hair and be left alone. They provide moisture to the hair, prevent dryness, and smooth the hair without weighting it down. They also help with detangling the hair before styling. Light leave-in conditioners are great for women with low porosity hair. They are easier for the hair to absorb. But if  your hair has trouble keeping moisture in,  a heavy leave-in cream can help your hair retain moisture longer. A heavy leave-in cream can also be used if you have normal porosity hair.

            Feeling your hair and knowing what it needs plays a big role in your decision making when buying hair products. I have used hundreds of hair products since I started my natural hair journey. I even used a volumizing conditioner once. Can you believe it? But now I listen to my hair. I buy exactly what I know it needs. It is good to experiment with different products or read reviews before buying new ones. But always go back to what your hair loves. Because at the end of the day, that's all that matters.

            Hello lovely people! Did you plant a garden this year? I did! And I am starting to see the  fruits vegetables of my labor. Lol!  Today I want to share with you one of my favorite vegetables. Yep, you guessed it! I love okra. I know a lot of people don't like, but I for some reasons that I cannot understand myself, it is a favorite of mine. Below is my little meatless okra gravy recipe. If you don't know your way around the kitchen, enjoy these beautiful photos!!

Fun facts about Okra
  • Okra leaves can be eaten either raw or in a salad. You can also cook them with a little bit of olive oil over medium heat and seasoned with a little bit of salt and red pepper.
  • Okra is called "ladyfingers" in many other English-speaking countries. 
  • Okra is high in fiber, vitamin C, and folate. It is a great source of calcium and potassium. And it is also known for having antioxidant properties.
Tomato and okra gravy ingredients
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour 
  • 1 1/2  cup water
  • 3 medium garden-fresh tomatoes, cored, sliced
  • 1 pound tender young okra, clean with head and tips removed 
  • Salt and favorite seasoning to taste, fresh black pepper, and 1 pinch cayenne pepper. 
Directions
  1. In your a skillet, heat your olive oil over low/medium heat. 
  2. Add onion and cook until tender. Do not brown the onion. 
  3. Add flour and stir well. 
  4. Add your favorite seasoning powder ( I used Knorr Chicken Flavor Bouillon)
  5. Wait about 5 minutes before adding the water to the mix and whisk until smooth, simmering until thick. 
  6. Add your tomatoes and okra to onion mixture, increase heat to medium and bring to a simmer, stirring frequently. Cook until okra softens and tomatoes begin to break down, making a thick gravy. 
  7. Add salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper, and continue to simmer until okra has cooked through. Adjust seasoning to your liking. 
             You can enjoy this gravy with freshly baked biscuits, but I love to enjoy it with cooked white rice.

Bon appetit!! 



            Porosity is your hair's ability to absorb and retain moisture. Your hair's porosity level is determined by how your cuticle layers are laid. Your porosity level can be rated as low, normal, or high. When your porosity level is normal, your hair has no problem absorbing moisture and keeping it in, a sign of smooth cuticles. But when the porosity level is high, moisture gets in and out of the hair easily, leaving it feeling dry and frizzy. Moisture can't easily get to the hair shaft when your hair's porosity level is low, which can lead to breakage.

How to Determine if Your Hair's Porosity Level is Low, Normal, or High



Normal Porosity: Cuticle layers are open enough to allow moisture to get into the hair. They also allow moisture to stay in for a longer period of time.

Low Porosity: Cuticle layers are closed (compact) and prevent moisture to get into the hair.

High Porosity: Cuticle layers are raised. Moisture gets into the hair as fast as it gets out.

          The best way to test your hair's porosity level is to spray it with plain water while it's clean.
  • If the water sits on top of the hair for a long time, beads up, or rolls down the hair strands, your porosity level is low. 
  • If  the water beads sit on the hair for a few seconds then disappears, your porosity level is normal. Congratulations, your cuticle is smooth! 
  • If the hair absorbs the water immediately after you spray it, your porosity level is high.
Dealing with low porosity hair
           The last thing you want is to have low porosity hair, especially if you have type four hair, which requires a lot of moisture to thrive. I have struggled with low porosity hair for a long time; even when my hair was relaxed. I could not understand why my roots would feel like straw every time I washed my hair. It is very important that you understand each porosity level, as it can affect the way your hair reacts to hair color, perms, or relaxers. I experienced first hand the reaction of a relaxer on my low porosity hair. The relaxer did not take, resulting in my scalp being burned and my processed hair being frizzy and dry after I washed the relaxer out.  The same is true for perming your your hair. If you have straight hair and want to have some bouncy curls, make sure you check your hair's porosity level before you proceed.
       
         Using heat (steaming the hair) is very effective when dealing with low porosity hair. I don't own a steamer because a plastic cap and a heated towel work well for me. But a steamer is a good tool to have if you struggle with low porosity hair.  Have you ever steamed freshly washed hair before adding your leave-ins? Try it! Even for 10 minutes. That will help your hair accept the leave-ins faster and keep the moisture in longer after you seal it in. Or you can add your leave-ins, steam the hair for a few minutes, then seal the moisture in. I started doing that after noticing that my leave-ins were sitting on top of my hair after each wash.
 
            Avoid acidic hair products like apple cider vinegar  and Aloe Vera juice because they can further close the cuticle layers. As much as I love my coffee rinse, I had to stop doing that too because the acidity in the coffee was making matters worse.  Wash your hair with warm water to keep the cuticles open. Watch your hair closely to see if a protein treatment is necessary. A protein conditioner containing amino acids can also close the cuticle layers.

Dealing with high porosity  hair 

         Can you imagine having to moisturize your hair eight times a day? It would be like feeding a newborn, right? That's what happens when your hair cannot retain moisture. You have to constantly moisturize it to keep it healthy. Or you can just cut the hair and start over, because a raised a cuticle is a sign of damaged hair. It happens when the hair is over-processed by a relaxer, other chemicals in the hair color you use, or  styling tools.
     
         When coloring your hair, it it very important that you pay close attention to how porous your hair is. Hair with high porosity will take a permanent color faster than hair with low or normal porosity. The same is true for perms and relaxers too.  For those of you who like to tex-lax your hair, you need to pay attention to these details because you might get a different result with your relaxer if you don't rinse it out fast enough. Temporary hair colors will fade faster if the hair is porous as well.

           The best way to deal with high porosity hair is to use acid balanced conditioners, deep conditioners, and leave-ins. You can also do an apple cider vinegar rinse to close your hair's cuticle layers until your porosity level is back to normal. Frequent protein treatments is required for chemically treated hair to add strength to the hair and help with elasticity.

References: Hairfinder.com - Wikipedia.com
        

               Hello everyone!! Can you tell how excited I am? Well, my blogger friend, Tania from inspire my fancy, nominated me for the VERSATILE BLOGGER AWARD. This is my second nomination. If being curious and interested in different things mean that I am versatile, then allow me to say that I am so versatile. I enjoy learning about different things. I love to try recipes from different cultures. And I am still polishing my DIY skills. Having a blog and reading your blogs allow me to do all that. So, Thank you Tania!!

Rules for the Versatile Blogger Award 

 

  • Thank the person who gave you this award.
  • Include a link to their blog.
  • Select 15 bloggers that you've recently discovered or follow regularly.
  • Nominate those 15 bloggers for the Versatile Blogger Award. 
  • Tell the person who nominated you 7 things about yourself.

Here are 7 Fun Facts About Me, Tania!
  1. I really don't like my cooking, but I was told that I am a good cook. Translation: If I could afford it, I would eat out everyday.
  2.  I know how to sew a button. No, it is not as easy as you think! Translation: I wish I could do it with my sewing machine. 
  3.  I am a big country music fan. Translation: I've always had a crush on Tim McGraw
  4.  I love puppies  from a distance. Translation: I don't own one.
  5.  I love being outdoors during the fall season. Translation: I want people to see my fall outfits.
  6. I have sticky notes all over my desk. Translation: I am getting old and I cannot remember anything. 
  7.  Crocheting brings me peace for some reason. Translation: I love my own company.

          Hello everybody!! This is a quick post to share with you some of the things that we did during our little vacation. I think the kids enjoyed this vacation more than we did. They love when daddy is on vacation because they get to do more with him. I can get pretty boring, I tell ya! They have to force me to go to the pool sometimes. I always tell people that I love water from a distance. You will never find me in the middle of the ocean, but my kids love going to the beach with daddy. I am glad they were able to do a lot of that because they are in school now.  Some of the pictures are not too clear because of the lighting, but I am glad I was able to capture these moments. Thanks for your sweet comments on my last post. I will back on Monday with regular blog posts.


This FROZEN store is so amazing, I had to snap some pictures.


          We were doing some sight seeing and saw this guy standing next to this car. We thought it was his until the owner showed up with his wife. What we later realized was that a friend of his was taking his picture.


           Hubby and I went on our little date. I finally had my PiƱa Colada at Bahama Breeze. Being the conservative that I think I am, I threw on a cardigan to cover my arms, but my skirt was so short I was not even able to sit on the bar stool to wait for our table. I thought about changing my outfit a couple of times, but my husband said he loved it:-)





            Hello Darlings!! If you are new to this blog, I am so sorry about the purple overload. But if you are not new, I know that you have already accepted the fact that I am addicted to anything purple.
I have my little DIY flower headband on and a blouse to match it. I hope I did not get my #washdayexperience card revoked because it's been a while since I did a post about the Wash Day Experience.  The reason is because I had my hair in protective style and I did not do much to it. I revisited some products that I had put on the back shelf in my bathroom for this wash day because I hate to throw my products away, but I will not buy them again. The Mane 'N Tail Deep Moisturizing Conditioning has my hair feeling like it just came out of the dryer every time I use it. And the detangler is as good as plain water. Can you tell that my wash day was interesting?

#WashDayExperience

{1} If you follow me on Instagram, you already know that my hair was in protective style because of my summer vacation with the family. After removing the twists, I used Mane 'N Tail Detangler to detangle the hair.
The Wash Day Experience
{2} I co-washed with TREsemmer moisture rich conditioner. I also used Mane 'N Tail Deep Moisturizing conditioner to make sure I get enough moisture after wearing the twists for almost 3 weeks.

{} I deep conditioned for about 30 minutes using Pantene Truly Natural 72 hour Deep conditioner.

{4} I applied my moisturizers and sealers while the hair was still damped. 

Hair of The Week





                 The sunlight was not in my favor after I was done washing my hair. So, I did the crown braids very quick and threw on my little headband. My hair came out okay, considering some to the products that I used for the co-wash.  How was your wash day?