Girl Got Curves

  1. Before the magic happens! Make sure your hair has been prepped with a heat protectant and a styling aid.
  2. Section hair. Divide the front from the back, then a separate crown section.
  3. Start with the lower back section first. Make sure all tangles have been brushed out of hair and take 1-2 inch sections for curling(depending on thickness, 1 inch for the fat haired chicks and 2 inches for the skinny haired girls).
  4. Using a curl stick, wrap the hair away from your face. You want to make sure you are holding the stick in a position where you can start wrapping the hair at the top(fat end) and work your way to the bottom.
  5. On the opposite side you will need to adjust your hand position so that you are still wrapping your hair away from your face. It is helpful to remember to keep that curl stick pointed down.
  6. Once you are done with the back and sides, you will want to hold the stick in a horizontal position on the very top/crown section. This technique creates more volume. On the fringe area you will want to hold the hair loosely and only keep on heat for a second, just enough to create a slight curve.
  7. Once your curls have been completed, flip your head upside down and shake hair out with your fingers. I usually run a brush through my fringe and spray. Using a texturizing paste, you can piece out waves and polish ends. Finish with a volumizing hair spray.


Juice for My Caboose

So you know how men never like to acknowledge that women poop? Well, that was somewhat the case when it came to my regularity in the bathroom. My entire life I have been a once, maybe twice, a "weeker". For those of you who can't even imagine it, take it from me, it is awful. It left me feeling forever bloated and uncomfortable. Not to mention it was dramatically affecting my performance at the gym. I have been in this "experimentation phase" with my life for a little while now. That being said, I decided that I was no longer going to settle for a mediocre digestive system.

I did a ton of research and kept coming up with the same common solutions to my problem: a good diet, lots of water, and regular exercise. Well, aside from my occasional (ok, sometimes frequent) sweet cheats, I felt like this area of my life was pretty much on point. The first step I took was trying to add in fiber supplements and high fiber foods to my daily intake. This was a mistake. I was still "going" the same regularity(or lack there of), but I was starting to get violently ill when I did. I am talking soaked in sweat and about to pass out. Not cool.

That brings me to my second attempt: Probiotics. After about a month these started to help a little but I still wasn't getting the results I was after. And so the mission continued. One of the wonderful, kind, loving employees of my beloved Nature's Health Foods suggested I start taking Super Enzymes(along with my probiotics) before each meal. These breaks down fats, carbs, and protein; making them easier to digest. Taking these two products together did help me achieve my poop goals for a short while, but before too long , my body was back to its old tricks.

At this point I started to get desperate, and found myself chatting on the phone with my beautiful mother-in-law. She is a registered nurse, so we call her frequently with health questions (and to remind her how much we love and miss her #suckingup). That is when she introduced me to the wonderful world of juicing. I got off the phone and went straight to the store to buy the incredible item that is saving my life.
I researched online and found several juice recipes that were specifically related to colon health and started juicing the next morning. It took a week or so to start taking affect, but once it did, I was amazed day after day. My body was finally starting to work properly. This (on top of all the other life changes I have made in the past year) made me feel like a new woman. My husband was proud as well, cheering every morning when he saw me running to the pot.

I have been juicing for about two months now. Every now and then I have to change up my recipe to "keep the juices flowing", but otherwise, this remains the solution to my problem. I am now proud to say that I, Amanda Ard, poop (almost) every day.


Chuck's vs Nature's

   I feel the need to post about my recent experience at one of Brandon, FL's local natural food markets: Chucks. After my first visit, about a year ago, I swore I would never walk inside their doors again. I should have stuck to my guns. I contacted both of our local markets about a product I needed and Chucks came up with the win. Normally, I would have just ordered it from Nature's. Due to lack of time, ordering was not an option. So alas, I walked through those dreaded doors and got the same awful experience as my first visit. It was obviously a restocking day, and I was obviously not suppose to ask if they happened to have a product that was missing from the shelf. When I did, you would have thought the world was ending. The woman who was "helping" me began slamming boxes around, making it very apparent she had far more important tasks to complete. The whole time,  not saying a word to me. Let me just add that it was only by the grace of God that I was in a sweetheart mood, and did not rip this woman a "new one". I would have thought any small business that had a customer spending 40 bucks on 3 food items would be on the ground kissing my feet. I thought wrong. For the second time, I swear that I will never again walk through the doors of Chuck's Natural Food Market.
   On a more kind note, Brandon still has my beloved Nature's. And although their store is about half the size and has half the stock of Chucks, the owners have a million times the amount of respect for their patrons. It is family operated by a lovely couple that will chat your ear off (Seriously, budget in at least another 5 minutes if you're in a hurry). They make you feel like your business is as important as their first born child. That's the type of business I can get behind!


Skinny Haired Girls

   This is for all you "skinny haired" girls. You know.. those of us with thin, fine, stringy, limp hair that we despise so much.. that never seems to grow past a certain point. I have been doing a little experiment with an assortment of products the past few months and it is definitely working! I began making the transition from a brunette, back to my roots as a blond, back in April. I knew  this decision would be hard on my skinny little hairs that I have been growing for the past 3 years, so I decided it was time to get serious about finding ways to salvage it through this process. Here are the products that are working for me..

Step 1: Shampoo and Conditioner

Nioxin "System 3"
System 3 includes a volumizing cleanser, lightweight conditioner and a leave-in treatment to amplify hair texture while refreshing the scalp and providing moisture balance to colored hair.

I love love love these products. They make my hair feel massive without leaving my ends feeling dry and brittle! Yay for fat haired girls!

Step 2: Conditioning Treatment + Leave In Conditioner

Redken "Extreme Strength Builder Plus" 
Contains the highest level of ceramide in the range to provide intense repair, conditioning and strength to the core of highly distressed hair.

This is a great conditioning treatment but needs to be applied mid-shaft to ends. If you apply this one directly to your scalp, you will be a flat haired girl.. and we don't want that! Also this has a very high amount of protein, meaning you only want to use this about ever 2 or 3 shampoos. Too much protein can cause hair to become brittle and break.

Redken "Thermal Resist"
Instantly detangles, repairs and conditions heat-damaged hair.

This one also has protein so I usually alternate it with the "Its a 10" leave in conditioner. Both are great heat resistants!

Step 3:Vitamins!

Country Life 5mg Biotin
A Vitamin Supplement Necessary for Healthy Hair, Scalp and Nails
I like this brand the best. It is the highest potency and the pills are tiny(they are usually horse sized pills). I've also found that if you take this along with folic acid, you get even better results!
My hair is growing like a weed and feels silky smooth, despite all of the "damage" i have done to it! Try this combination if your hair struggles with heat damage, chemical damage, or if you simply just want thicker, faster growing hair!