Archive of ‘tips and tricks’ category

How to take good photos of your toddler

How to take2

I’m one of those moms who are always camera ready because dammit, my children are gosh darn cute! I love documenting all the weird and wonderful stuff they get up to and literally have tons and tons of photo folders on every computer and hard drive that we own. Fortunately the older ones know to smile when I say “Smile!” (“Nowwww! Or else no XBox!”) But grabbing photos of your toddler can be a bit tricky. Right?  (more…)

5 tricks for curly chicks

Curls
If you frequent these here parts, you’ll know that I refer to my 16 month old daughter as “Curly” or “Curly Girly”. Well, that’s because the kid has a mop of hair that literally has a life of it’s own. Literally. Like, it is probably thinking up ways to make me feel as if I am mentally unstable as I type this. Tricks for curly chicks are needed! Aaack!

Okay, okay, I may be sounding a tad bit dramatic. But you see, the thing is, I’ve never been a curly girly, like ever, in my life. In fact, beautiful curls are a luxury to me. I’ve attempted to curl many times. Totally loved it! But totally sucked at it. So how amazing was it that God decided that my one and only (long awaited) girly should have a head full of curls? Well played God, well played.

I don’t mind at all though. I love every single aspect of being my girls mama! And I don’t plan to ever encourage her to straighten her hair or change anything about herself. So it is with this in mind that I decided to take her hair care seriously. If she is meant to have curls, then I will dang well make sure she has the best looking curls this side of the equator!  .
Moldiv_1455619049550Many (self proclaimed) experts have warned me not to make too much of a big deal about my child’s hair. “Don’t put anything on it!” They say. “Leave it as is!” I’ve been warned. All good and well, until you have to leave home and the child looks as if she has been mildly electrocuted. Not a good look. Even for the most beautifulest baby in the world.

IMG_20160217_205005

“I woke up like this…”

Anyways, so I’ve been Googling and oogling, trying to find the best hair routine for my girl’s mane. I mean, besides for how it looks, I really want her hair to be healthy and well looked after. So here’s some of the stuff I’ve discovered (trial and error) and learnt thus far:

5 Tricks for Curly Chicks
1. Because curly hair does not get dirty as quickly as straight hair does, it wont need to be washed as often. Take this as you will. Because of the coil in your curl, the heads natural oils cannot travel as easily from root to tip. Which may be why curly hair appears to be drier than straight hair.

2. Traditional shampoos are a no-no for curls. This is because most traditional shampoos are too harsh for curly hairs. In a startling discovery I learnt that curlys, all over the world, swear that you can give your hair a quick wash using just conditioner! Conditioner gives dry curls that extra moisture and does a good job at cleaning your hair at the same time. If that seems weird or you think it won’t do a good enough job, rather opt for a co-wash (that’s shamps and condish in 1). Stuff to avoid, when buying hair products for your little curly is: Sulfates, silicones and parabens. Baby shampoos (esp the “no tears” products) are especially drying because of the active ingredients in them.

3. I try my best not to ‘over towel dry’ her hair. Yes there such a thing as over towel drying. Curly hair is more prone to breakage and some hair experts actually claim that using a cotton tshirt is more effectiveIMG_20151226_130250 at drying hair, than a towel is! I’ll often loosely wrap a tshirt around her head, while she is being dried, powdered and dressed. It’s amazing how quickly the hair gets dry that way. I sometimes use my hair dryer (on low heat) if it’s really cold and I want her hair dry asap. Fortunately she loves the hairdryer. We make a game out of it where she blows my hair and I do hers. #parenthack

4. Do not brush curly hair. Ever. Ever ever ever. Ever. In fact, curls should only be combed when wet! Remember what I said about curly hair being more prone to breakage? The brush is not your friend. Finger combing is a great way to detangle the hair of little ones. Our routine consists of doing a quick finger comb and then I restructure the curl as best as I can with a 16 month old who refuses to sit still.

5. Natural oils are great for curly hair. On days where I don’t necessarily want to wet my girl’s hair (or apply copius amonts of baby condish) I simply rub some coconut oil on my hands and apply where needed. I mean, she is a baby after all and I will not allow the hair routine to become more important than she is. Other natural oils that you could try is olive oil, grapeseed oil, jojoba oil and the popular argan oil.  I prefer coconut oil because its one of the only oils that can actually penetrate the hair shaft. (ooh don’t I sound smart). Basically, what this means is that the hair absorbs the oil, it doesn’t just chill there.

So that’s what we’re doing right now and it seems to be working. I’ve heard about a ton of fantastic products that are available for curly girly’s and I am yet to try it, but when I do, best believe you’ll hear about it first!

What type of hair care regime do you have for your little one?

No carb breakfast muffins!

So I’m not exactly the world’s greatest cook. The inside joke in my family, when we have bring and share, is: “Bet ya, Luchae is making pasta again.” I’m that girl. With that said, I’m always looking for easy recipes (preferably one that makes me look like a master chef) or food hacks that make for quick and delish meals and snacks. My most recent discovery (yes, I know, it’s like I’ve been living on the moon for the past few years) is this super-duper easy peasy no carb breakfast muffins. Did I mention that there are no carbs in it? Yes sir! Carb free! (more…)

How to make your own nail art stickers! [The DIY Tut that almost never was]

Going through my old Blackberry photo folder (ag shame) I found a bunch of pics that I took while attempting to make a nail art sticker using a baggy and nail polish. I remember not using the pics (or ever posting the tut) because, let’s face it, my Blackberry pics are terrible. But a bunch of people have been asking me about nail art stickers, so I thought: Oh what the hey! Let’s post the terrible pics today! Tra lala lalaaaaaaa.

It’s pretty easy to make these stickers and I’m sure you’ve noticed by now that I am no artist, but if you are, then you are going to have a ball with this! I have met a ton of really talented nail artists and I am sure that they are super duper pro’s at this kind of thing. But you and me… not so much pros. So this is what could work for us, normal civillians.

I start by making sure my plastic bag is clean. I use a Glad bag because the plastic is thicker and if I wanted to trace my image from normal paper, I could just slip the paper into the bag and seal it. Clever! I know, right! (and so modest too).

I then thickly apply my base color of choice. Most people prefer using a clear polish for this, but I prefer matching it with the base color on my nail. I’ll explain why later, but basically this polish will be the “canvas” for your drawing or image. I always apply one coat, allow it to dry, and then another on top of that – it should be nice and thick so that the image will be able to peel off easily.

Once that’s dry I use my nail art brushes and other polishes to paint my image onto the base. I sometimes use koki pens, just because it’s easy and I aint no Picasso. I am sure that there are a ton of things that you could do!

While waiting for the artwork to dry I apply a protective base coat on my nails and then my base color of choice. (You can check out the polishes I used in these pics and why I did this particular mani in this post). I then use a tweezer (or my nails, if they are nice and long) to carefully peel the entire sticker from the baggy. At this point you could either use a nail art scissors to cut your image out (which is why using a clear polish would work for you) before applying or, if you’re lazy like I am, apply the entire sticker to your nail. I apply it slowly and neatly to my finger of choice and use my finger to smooth it out over my nail. The edges peel off quite easily once the entire sticker is on your nail.

Top coat.

And that’s that!
Really easy!
If my blurry pics hurt your eyes too much, please check out Youtube for some more step by step tuts!

Happy Nail Arting!

How to get rid of that “I ate too much” feeling

I ate too much

Image: chibird.com

Let’s be honest, when it comes to December, the last thing you’re thinking is “Ooh I really can’t wait to stick to my diet!” In fact, most days I feel like I ate too much. And it’s a crying shame!

I totally hate the discomfort one feels after indulging in the rich foods that this time of the year brings around. In my heart of hearts I know that prevention is the best solution. Instead of “I ate too much”, I could rather eat until I’m full. But we are not living in a perfect world, are we, Susan? So here are a few practical tips on how to beat the indigestion blues:

1. Time 
Waiting for the feeling to pass (and your food to digest) is pretty much the most effective solution. While waiting, try to resist the urge to lie down (and groan about how full you are) because laying down will only cause more discomfort and may lead to acid reflux and heart burn.

2. Move around 
Try to stay upright and go for a walk. I’m not saying run a marathon or jump hurdles, Bob. In fact, strenuous exercises should be avoided after a huge meal. But a lovely, brisk walk, can only do you good.

3. Medication 
I don’t do medication unless really needed but I’ve heard that antacids are a must for combating indigestion and other digestive system qualms. They neutralize stomach acids and can assist your body with breaking down all the fatty foods you shoved your face into an hour ago. Charcoal tablets and powder are also recommend since it absorbs excess gas in the intestinal tract. But we shouldn’t be popping these on the daily.

4. Have a drink 
Water is the natural way to flush your system and aid digestion but chamomile tea and other natural caffeine-free teas are also a great way to get things going on the digestion front.

5. Hula Hoop 
I heard this advice and now I really want to eat and then hula hoop just to see if it works! Hula hooping is a great way to tone your abs but it also aids with getting your body into digestion mode. Repetitively moving your hips and abdomen stirs up your internal organs and reduces the discomfort that overeating gives you.

6. Stretches
Another suggestion is to do a couple of easy Yoga stretches to get your body to respond. So when all else fails, you could always try out these gentle stretch techniques.

And friends, while enjoying your  festive meals, please spare a minute for those in need. Your “I ate too much” syndrome can be managed but their hunger cannot. You are blessed to be a blessing to others!

Merry Christmas!

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