Rocco’s Still Going Strong

Finally, today I gave Rocco the attention he’d been missing for the past two weeks. Sundays are my wash days but last week was my boyfriend’s birthday and I didn’t leave enough time to get Rocco washed so I put him up in a high bun and there he stayed… for the next week.

Today I gave him a steam, did some major detangling, got rid of plenty of shed hair, and gave him a good scrub. He’s now moisturized and up in twists. I haven’t been blow drying my hair after washing it lately. I think it’s probably been a good 8 weeks since I’ve last blow dried my hair. It makes for longer twists, and fluffier twist outs but I don’t mind not using heat on my hair for a while and skipping the blow drying saves me quite a bit of time as well.

I really don’t think about Rocco and my hair that much anymore. It’s sort of been absorbed into my life. It’s no longer ‘new’. It’s definitely fun, but it’ now has its place in my life and I know how to make my hair shine and dance and it’s great. Actually, I realized I’ll be 3 years natural in two months. I’m smiling now that I think about it because I can see my face now sitting in that chair. I remember how I felt, I remember the uncertainty and anxiety of my hair falling to the floor and the buzz of the razor. I also remember loving the little curls as they sprouted from my scalp. I remember the ease of wash days and the way I checked my length at certain points, always surprised by its progress.

My hair is now well past my chin and past my collar bone. I know it’s time for a trim with the number of fairy knots I encounter but… at the same time… I’m so happy by how comfortable I am with my hair. With myself. I’ve come quite a ways from my days of buying hair relaxer at London Drugs, putting on my gloves and getting to it. I dreaded each occasion but was happy once it was done. But it never lasted. I’d be right back there 10 weeks later, my scalp burning, my hands covered to protect them from the chemicals and I know I’m in a better place now. I know my hair and scalp are thanking me and I know this is me. Unashamed, free, me.

Cheers Rocco!

Oh! Bye October? Hi November, Stay and Chat A While

Ouch.. my last post was saying bye to September and when I wasn’t looking October flew out the door too!

I miss you guys so I was happy when I found myself with no plans tonight. I’ve already put on a coat of nail polish, once it’s dry I plan on moisturizing my hair and putting it into chunky twists.

Fitness

I am on my third week of diet/exercise! I find my food choices have improved drastically. I miss chips but I find that allowing myself some yummies in small portions infrequently helps me from going absolutely crazy. My friend S and sometimes L have been at the gym like fiends. And we’ve reached the point where we get bummed out if we miss a day so we’re there quite often. Usually after work. It’s night-time dark by 5:30 PM here (thanks Daylight Savings…) so all I want to do when I get home is jump into my flannies (flannel jammies) and veg. Tonight I’m lucky enough to do that because I ran 10k on the treadmill this morning (ack!). Tomorrow I’ll be gyming in the evening.

Why am I hitting this again so hard? I tried on a couple of dresses I have and was just so done with looking the way I do. I don’t want to gym to get ‘skinny’. I may have said this before. I want to gym so that I can see positive changes in my body. I want to look and feel strong. I want to run easily and I want to be comfortable in the clothes I wear.

My biggest hurdle when working out is definitely my period. It’s not the early mornings or the last 2 kms on the treadmill. It’s feeling like a bag of crap and still putting on my gym wear and getting out there. It’s avoiding foods that make me feel cozy when my insides feel like they’re getting chiseled away at. So let me tell you it’s going to take everything in me to just buckle down and do it.

Life

My bf and I are planning a NYE not here. We’re going to kick it in the big city with a couple friends and enjoy some time off together that isn’t here. I’m really excited. It’s just what I need to look forward to. We’ve both got our time off approved and so we’re going to book hotels/flights this weekend.

Also! Between the two of us we have 3 (potentially 4) holiday work parties to attend. Mine are Friday and Saturday of the same weekend and it just so happens to be on a boat (holla)! To save ourselves from a drive home in what will be plenty of snow, we’ve got a hotel Saturday night and will just take the shuttle there. I’m so excited. It kind of gives me a boost to work out hard so I feel great that weekend.

Raffi has his winter tires on so I’m just waiting for the snow to creep lower down the mountain and eventually cover the town. I do love when it snows. Especially that first full snow. Everything is muted. Quiet. Still. And it looks gorgeous. I’ll have to make sure to capture my surroundings this winter.

It’s also been raining for literally, the past 4 weeks. A solid month of rain. We’ve had 3 rainfall warnings during that time. My new gumboots have definitely made themselves useful.

Rocco

Rocco has been behaving. He rocked a bomb twist out Sunday evening when my bf and his family came over for dinner. He’s so soooft! I’ve gotta moisturize him and put him up so he can stay that way. I also desperately need to order some Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie. It’s a great product and keeps my hair moisturized, smelling great and feeling so soft.

Money

I need to do better at budgeting and sticking to it. I can put away a large amount of savings no problem. Then I give myself a little spending money. But then when my money runs out… I end up picking up my Mastercard… I never hold a balance on my card, but that means I have to get the money from somewhere (savings) to cover my purchases. Not the route I want to be taking. So I need to figure that out. But I decided to have an automatic transfer to my RRSP every paycheque so that’s one less thing to worry about. I just need to decide what sort of retirement portfolio I want to take part in… I also need to figure out what that really means, yknow?

I hope you’re all doing well and I can’t believe this year is wrapping up so quickly. It will be Christmas then New Years’ before we know it! I’m thankful for every day I get.

Smiling in the Rain

It’s as though October just arrived and it’s already on it’s way out. Before I know it I’ll be knee deep in snow. I already see it on the tops of some mountains so it’s only a matter of time really. At the moment it has been raining for two weeks solid. We haven’t had a break from it in so long. I saw the sun for about 5 minutes yesterday before it continued its deluge. This prompted me to get new winter/rain boots so now I am equipped for all of the precipitation! And next weekend Raffi will get his winter tires on and he’ll be ready as well!

Rocco

I’ve started wear my hair in smallish braids during the week, taking them down Friday after work and wearing it out on the weekends. This may change once it gets colder and I need to shield my hair from the cold but for right now it’s been working.

A length check is on my list. Just to see what’s happening up there. I can say I have now been natural for 2 years, 7 months and 5 days 😛 I love it!

A hair ‘uh oh’ that happened recently for me… I was at the optometrist doing an eye test and the lady who came in to help the person administering my test (it was her first time) looked at my hair and proclaimed ‘Ooh it’s so cool I want to touch it’ and without waiting for a response proceeded to touch my hair. She then followed that action with ‘Oh it’s so fuzzy, it’s just like Michelle’s’… Uuuuugh. Honestly, I’m not adverse to saying no to people who ask to  touch my hair. But at least give me that chance to say no before you dive in! Holy…

Here are some pics of my love, Rocco.

Fitness

I’m doing a sort of fitness/clean-eating challenge with my friend S. We kicked it off on Tuesday, as Monday was Thanksgiving and we wanted to eat all the pie. I want to see some changes so we’ve started a low-carb diet and we’ve been working out together. We both have the same trouble spot: the tire around our midsections. It has to go. So we’re busting our butts and I’m really excited because we’ve been doing quite well working out and going to the gym and such. I’m going to head their today and get in some work out time. I really want to put in the effort so I can see my body change for the better.

We decided on having a cheat meal once a week and while I chose to have mine on Saturdays I really didn’t go in that direction. For lunch with my boo yesterday I had this delicious smoked salmon salad. I was so excited when I saw it came with avocado (yum)! Also, did some knitting with L last night and we munched on kale chips and popcorn and drank soda water with squeezed lime juice (so good and refreshing)!

Life

I stumbled on the cutest illustrative blog. I had to show my boo because they were like us! You can find it here.

I’ve also tasked myself with a budget I need to stick to. I spent way too much unallocated money last weekend. I know it was Thanksgiving long weekend but I think I was a little too free with pulling out the card. So I’ve got my budget in place and I plan to make the most of it.

Also, I’m not big on Halloween. Actually I’m not a fan at all. But if I were to go I would go as Suzy Carmichael cause she’s awesome.

Now that it’s Sunday I have to wash my hair, prep my meals for the week and relaaax before Monday!

Here are some rainy pics me and boo took on a forest walk.

I hope you have a great day!

Why Does It Only Rain On Weekends? Gr…

Why is it sunny and hot throughout the week and raining on the weekends?

Answer me that.

I was planning to bike to the coffee shop to meet my friend but… I’m not feeling it now that the heavens have opened up.

i did run 10 k today with L. It was a good pace. Next weekend I’m going to try my race pace for 10 and see how I do. I’m feeling okay right now. No real aches or creaks. I’m really excited for our trip. We have a wedding coming up in three weeks so we thought of knitting them a blanket together since we have 16 hours on a ferry. We’re meeting for coffee to look up blanket patterns for the wedding present and meal/packing plans for our camping trip.

I haven’t had beer in about 6 weeks. Ever since I started my gym plan May 20. So you can believe there will be a cooler full of beer for the evening after my race and it will be glorious! lso this Haida Gwaii trip will be belt, jeans and underwire free. It’s gonna be a weekend of leggings softy bras, and baggy everything. I can’t wait.

I’ve been keeping up with the gym. I know I need to put the maximum effort into each workout in order to see results, but it can be tricky.

Rocco

I’ve been keeping Rocco twisted away during the week. About two weeks ago I had a couple of days off and I just had to let him loose. He was so full and big it was great. He started out with some definition in his twist-out, then it was a little rainy and he poofed a bit. But he still looked great and I rocked him big and proud for the day.

Yesterday I made a huge mistake. I was getting out of the shower and saw my friend was heading to the market. I thought, sure I’ll go with. This was the first time in forever where I was washing my hair loose instead of in 4 braids/twists. I put on a headband and wore a large puff, did some towel drying and headed out the door. I had some water dripping down my neck which was uncomfortable. I didn’t mind wearing my hair out but in the back of my head I knew it was not going to be fun getting Rocco back in order afterwards. But for now… I just wanted to enjoy some veggie rolls, chicken kabobs and rice noodles as is my summertime Saturday tradition.

When I got home I knew it was on. Put in a Will & Grace DVD and I got to it. I tried to start with finger detangling because I knew my hair had dried in zig zags and spiralling around each other. I also hadn’t deep conditioned it so my hair was squeaky and felt really brittle. It was not fun. It’s all twisted up now and I have (re)learned my lesson. I honestly haven’t washed my hair loose or let it air dry like that for over a year and this experience confirmed my reasons why.

Life

I really wasn’t sure what I was going to wear for the wedding that’s coming up so I gave in to peer pressure and ordered two dresses from Forever 21… ugh. I was at L’s and she was ordering two dresses (why did I give in to peer pressure? Believe me there was a lot of mental back-and-forth. I even checked out how to cancel the order, but they don’t have that option so looks like two dresses will be heading my way. Of course as soon as I got back from L’s I looked in my closet and was surprised to see a suitable summer dress from (yep) Forever 21. It was a Value Village find. I’ll make sure to post the options and you can all help me decide! 🙂

While I wasn’t happy I spent $68 on dresses, I did get my quarterly GST rebate a week later so that helped. I put the majority of it onto my  MC to cover the dresses. Thanks for the dresses Government of Canada!

My first adjusted student loan payment went out. Blah. Bye $1000. I’m glad I’m doing this though since $150 is interest paid, so really I’m only applying $850 to my principal. So with my previous payments of $392 I was applying only $242 to my principal. Don’t be satisfied with only paying the minimum. Unless you want to hang on to that debt for forever and pay so much more than the original.

Oooh! At the market was a kennel of about 6 puppies. They were SOOOO CUTE!!! They were $50 and ADORABLE! AAAAGH!! I held one and he fell asleep in my arms… gosh.

Dresses:

What do you guys think?

Friends and Fun!

This weekend was lovely 🙂

I worked all week and decided to work Good Friday for some good old fashioned overtime. My student loans aren’t gonna pay for themselves so I may as well.

Friday evening was build your own pita pizza with L and we watched a movie and hit the hay.

Saturday morning I woke up and went home early so I could get started on my hair. I was about halfway done blow drying it when my bf texted asking if I wanted to go for brunch. Now B’s brother is in town and I hadn’t met him yet and both Thursday and Friday he asked me if I wanted to join them for drinks but Thursday I went for a run after work with L and then it was bedtime. And Friday I had already made plans with L so that didn’t happen (he needs to give me a liiiiittle more notice). So I really wanted to make brunch with what I assumed was his whole family.

B: Did you wanna go for brunch?
Me: That sounds good, what time?
B: Right now.
Me: ooh I can’t… I washed my hair early so I wouldn’t have to do it tomorrow and I’m still 20 mins from finishing it 😦
B: We’ll wait half an hour for you
Me: Ok! I can do this!
B: Yay! Let us know when you’re ready

First off… SOME NOTICE WOULD BE NICE! ‘Right now’ is never a good response when you’d like me to be somewhere. But I went on superdrive and finished blow drying my hair and putting it in 6 fat twists. I’m whizzing around thinking I’m holding up his entire family with my hair games.. I released the twists and combed them out and was met with a poof of hair (which I loved!). With a few bobby pins and an elastic I put it in a really simple side pony and I was good to go. I wanted to high five myself I was so impressed with my results in the timeframe I had.

There were no parents at brunch. But I still felt pretty and put together and met his brother and had some good laughs so it was great!

Saturday afternoon included a great bike ride with my guy friend T, pepperoni sticks from the local corner store (soo good!) and some video games with the gang. I met up for coffee with L and P and in the evening was a nice fire. It was such a great day.

It’s crazy though, I feel the need to cram my Saturdays with as much social fun as I can because I really don’t see anyone during the week. And I FINALLY got Hermie on the road. My butt bones are sooo sore after that first bike ride but they’ll just have to toughen up because next weekend L and I are biking to the lake!!! Eeee!!

The local Farmers Market starts up in May and L and I have the perfect routine down! Saturday mornings will include 9 AM yoga and at 10 we’ll walk across the street for some delicious Filipino food at the market. Yaay!! My favourite time of year!!!

Today I had lattes at L’s and we went out to look for a Wii for her ( we didn’t find one) and I found myself a nice light jacket shell which is perfect for biking and light enough that I can wear a hoodie or sweater underneath. It’s also long in the back which is great for biking and I just prefer a long jacket so I’m really happy I found that. I’m going to do my taxes (boo), clean my room (double boo) and prep lunches for this week (yay? I guess…)

L and I are also planning a road trip for May Long weekend so I am preeeeetty excited about that one 🙂

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend!

Kinky TRESSES: Meet Ndeshi

I’ve been featured on Black Zulu. Just wanted to say thanks to Nekisha for this great piece!

Black Zulu

As promised, this week’s Kinky TRESSES: takes us across the globe to meet fellow natural hair blogger – Ndeshi, who currently resides in Canada. She is a Zambian-born natural beauty who started her hair (re)discovery journey in early 2012.

Tell us a bit about yourself and the life of your hair before going natural.

I grew up in a small town in northern British Columbia, Canada. As a kid my mom would do my hair. I spent hours at her feet, head bent this way and that way as she hot combed, braided, twisted and cared for my hair. After my first relaxer at around 9 years old, I would relax my hair infrequently. Having a small black population they didn’t have very much available for our hair so when my dad went out of town we would get him to bring us hair products. When I moved away at…

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Two Years Natural

HAPPY BIRTHDAY ROCCO!

I just want to take a moment to say.. TWO YEARS?! Holy wow. It doesn’t seem that long ago that I was getting my hair buzzed off. I wasn’t sad to see my fragile, broken strands swept away but I was sad I didn’t have a scarf to keep the cold air off my newly exposed neck.

There are going to be so many photos in this gig. I need to one-up my one year anniversary post. Plus there’s going to be some cameos from my Big Chop buddy! My momma!

Rocco: The Early Years

I think my hair had better things to do than grow when I was younger. Legit. My hair follicles were unproductive. I rocked a mean TWA until I was like 4… and then I rocked a fluffy ‘fro. My hair took its sweet time to make an appearance and I wasn’t wearing cornrows or braids until I was about 5 or 6. No biggie. My hair had other things to do, I get it.

Throughout school I wore my hair in braids, corn rows, we hot combed my hair *cringe*, I got my hands on a curling iron and I rocked rolled out bangs like nobody’s business. Around 9 I got my first relaxer. One lady in town relaxed my hair, but it was pricey so I didn’t go very often and they didn’t sell boxed relaxers where I lived. In between I mostly flat ironed it and occasionally wore box braids.

When I moved away for college I was loving that I had access to more hair products so I relaxed my hair and then got it cut at salons. I’ve only ever had maybe two good hair cuts and one of them was at a salon in the mall. Michael only charged me $7 as a ‘bangs cut’. I tipped him well. But when I went back for another cut he was gone. *sob*

After a couple of years I realized this life was no longer for me. Now I know I wasn’t taking the best care of it. I didn’t deep condition it and I flat ironed it like crazy. After straightening it I would have a collection of matchstick strands surrounding me. Rocco was not in good shape.

I had a wise idea of trying to get it sorted out at a local hair salon. My hair dresser had no idea what he was doing and decided to wing it (and I foolishly let him). You can bet I wore my hood up leaving that salon. A couple of weeks later I lopped it all off. Two years later, here I am.

Natural Days

I still stand by the fact that my TWA was the most freeing period in all of my hair history. Washing was easy, drying was easy, moisturizing was easy. There was no detangling, no combing, no SSKs, no major bed prep. There was no blow drying, no teasing and no straightening. I barely had to do jack shit. I slept with a satin cap, and for my 6 am runs I whipped it off, suited up and was out the door. It was sooooo eeeeeasy!!! #sospoiled

Why Am I Still Natural?

This hair of mine is versatile. Sure, there are days when my hair is dry, tangled, uncooperative and makes me wanna just put a hat on. This tuft up there is so unique it makes me happy. When someone says, your hair would be so long if you straightened it. Sure, I could straighten it but then what would I do with it? It would just sit there. I feel as though my natural hair allows me to be creative and get funky and have fun with it. I find my hair matching my mood and it gives me that extra kick of funky charm 😉

Not to mention the community. The online support, suggestions, finding your hair twin, making your own hair products, tweet chats, finding a product your hair loves, this is all gold people. The encouragement, the helpful suggestions, the conversation surrounding natural hair can be so positive and so uplifting and so inspiring. You’re never alone on your journey and you’re always learning.

Rocco’s 2 Year Length Check

I find myself forgetting to do length checks. But that’s because this is just my hair now. It’s less of an experiment in hair growing and more, this is my hair. But since it has been a while I’m excited to see how Rocco’s been doing length wise.

Front:

I’m looking at about 8 inches all round. I’m not mad at that. My ends could use some dusting this spring but otherwise. Thanks for reading!! Have a great Friday!

Rocco’s Previous Milestones:

9 months natural
8 months
6 months
My natural hair story