My favourite 2016 products

My favourite products for 2016

It has been three years since I’ve done a favourite products post. Although a lot of time has passed and I have tried a few products (not many) here and there, I still go back to my faithful few. As my hair grows, I have less and less time and  desire, to wash, detangle and style my hair but I can always depend on these tried and true products.

Once again I share my six favourite products for 2016

  1. Water

Water still tops the list as my favourite product for my hair. I use it for detangling, washing, moisturizing and styling my. Clean, tangle free, well moisturized hair is a must to see a healthy mane. Just spraying the hair with water is sufficient for me, in order to keep it moisturized. Water is my number one friend, from wash day to moisturizing. A little water go a long way and it makes a big difference.

  1. Herbal Essence Hello Hydration conditioner

This product is still one of my staple products in my hair care regimen. I use it as a detangler on damp hair, as an instant rinse out conditioner (which it is) and also as a deep conditioner. Although it is not designed as a deep conditioner, it does help in keeping my hair moisturized and soft. I also use it as a cowash and as a leave in conditioner. This is still my all in one conditioner. It has a lot of slip, and just like water, a little goes a long way, it is moisturizing, inexpensive and smells great.

  1. As I am coconut cowash cleansing conditioner

I have been using this cowash for years now and I am still impressed with it.  Since following the curly girl method, I have grown closer to this product. It is light weight, does a great job at cleaning the hair and scalp without suds, I am able to detangle my hair with the product in it and it is moisturizing.

To learn more about the As I am coconut cowash by kindly seeing my product review post, click the link below

  1. Raw shea butter

This product is still multipurpose for me as well because I use it on both my hair and skin and in my home made deodorant. Although this product is a butter, it is not heavy on my hair once I’m not too heavy handed with it. It is quite moisturizing and helps in reducing dark spots about the skin. I have been using shea butter for years and it is still my go to product , even after trying other products.

  1. Grapeseed oil

Grapeseed oil is still my all time favourite oil to use. I use it to seal in moisture in my hair and skin. It keeps the hair and skin moisturized, soft to the touch without the greasy after feeling. Grapeseed oil is light weight with a very subtle scent that quickly disappears after applying it on the hair or skin.

  1. Eco styler gel (clear)

Eco styler gel comes in different types, with protein (black), pink, blue, with olive oil (green), yellow, with Argan oil (dark yellow), crystal (clear). I am yet to use them all but my favourite is still the clear eco styler gel. It does not make my hair hard, it keeps down the edges while maintaining a soft hold. Although there can be some amount of product build up with continuous and excessive use, it’s not flaky in my hair and it is easy to rinse out.

That’s it, feel free to share some of your favourite products as well.


How to Get Rid of the Belly Bulge

How to Get Rid of the Belly


Prolonged periods of inactivity and a diet high in saturated fat and high sugar lead to visceral fat storage, fat in our midsection that surrounds our internal organs. Some of the fat from the fat cells in that area can end up in our bloodstream raising our cholesterol levels. Belly fat can cause a variety of health issues like increased blood pressure, hormonal imbalances, cardiovascular disease and insulin resistance which then leads to type 2 diabetes.

The belly is often the last one to go because the body sees it as a reserve needed to ensure our survival if times are tough and food is scarce.

The bad news is that we can’t target any of these reserves specifically, there is no way to pick where we are going to lose fat from. We can’t target it with exercise or dieting, our bodies always lose overall body fat and only when they are done shedding it everywhere else will they access the fat they have reserved in problem areas like our bellies.

Exercise for belly fat loss

Since we can’t target our bellies specifically no amount of crunches or other ab specific exercises will help us burn reserves there faster. It doesn’t matter how much muscle we put on in a specific part of the body, we burn body fat in an overall way.

This means that in order to get rid of the belly you have to do exactly the same training you would do if you wanted to lose weight in general, once you are low or out of other extra fat reserves to burn you will begin to burn visceral fat in your midsection and every other problem area you have.

The best way to dig into those stubborn fat reserves is through a combination of cardio, high burn and high intensity interval training.

The belly bulge

Exercise helps you burn fat all over your body but it does build muscle in a particular area, depending on the exercise. If you ignore cardio and concentrate on the ab work exclusively instead of burning the fat you need to burn you will end up with a belly bulge. The amount of energy ab exercises burn is not enough to make a larger impact.

That’s why it’s recommended that you concentrate on cardio instead of ab work in general. Cardio and staying active throughout the day – the more you move the more you burn.
Slow and steady for permanent results

Adopting an active lifestyle and cutting out high sugar high saturated fat foods will eventually lead to a flat and healthy stomach. It takes patience and patience is vital in this case. If you rush it and force your body to lose fat faster than it’s comfortable with it will not have time to adjust. Sudden changes to your lifestyle, extreme physical and dietary conditions will also make your body panic and switch to emergency mode lowering your metabolism and conserving anything extra you may eat reserving everything and anything it can to ensure, from its point of view, your survival.

Fast weight loss is temporary weight loss exactly because of that. The only way to get permanent results is to introduce conditions you can then maintain for the rest of your life. Small changes introduced gradually in your lifestyle will make a big difference in the long run. Do anything too extreme and you’ll end up with more weight than you started off with the moment you relapse or stop your training and dieting regimen.

Plan of Action

Do cardio and high burn workouts
Reduce portion sizes
Take mental breaks and take time off

Take home message

Getting rid of a belly takes patience and regular work, better choices on a daily basis and keeping cool at all times. It takes work, sadly, there are no shortcuts that will give you permanent results but it’s worth the trouble.

*Motivational Tip* Get fit ANYTIME, don’t wait for the new year


Why wait until a “special” occasion or the new year to get healthy. Being healthy is not a destination but should be a life long journey for your overall physical and mental health.

Below are a few tips you can use to guide you make lasting lifestyle changes. And the great thing about it, you can start them at anytime of the year.

  • Get an annual medical checkup if you don’t have any underline condition. Visit your doctor more regularly if you have any chronic illness like Diabetes or High Blood Pressure. Be sure to get the go ahead from your doctor before starting any strenuous exercise program if you are not a very active person.
  • Stay active with an exercise routine, even if you are not with a group or going to a gym.
  • Write down your short term and long term fitness goals and Keep a food journal so you can track your progress.
  • Stay motivated, get help if you are having a hard time by yourself. Most of all  have fun how ever you decide to stay active. Try to do things you enjoy, bike riding, swimming, dancing, aerobics, boxing just to name a few.
  • Drink at least 2 liters of water daily. Drink at least 1 glass first thing in the morning and at least 1 glass last thing at night
  • When exercising always warm up and cool down before and after your routine.
  • To improve your overall health increase your fruit and vegetable intake, preferably fresh (not from a can or package).
  • Avoid or decrease stress, alcohol and smoking as these can affect your body and your mood.
  • Try to eat regular, healthy meals and snacks. Limit animal fat, dairy products and refined starches. Never skip breakfast as it is the most important meal of the day.
  • Get adequate sleep every day, at least 6-8 hrs sleep nightly to maximize your overall health.


Cricket lovely cricket!

 Cricket lovely cricket by Saran P King


“How is that?!”

The greatest game of ALL time “cricket”. You have not seen a ‘real’ cricket match until you have experienced one in the West Indies. I’m sure some of you can attest to that, those of you who watch the game at least. The song writer says “there’s nothing sweeter than salt fish,” but I disagree. There is nothing sweeter than a cricket match.

For those who are not familiar with the game and its rules, let me shed a little light, so you can better understand the game and how it is played. Cricket is a team sport that is played with a bat and ball between 2 teams, 11 players on each side, made up of a captain, bats men, bowlers, a wicket keeper and fielders. The game is played on a field also called a ground. In the middle of the field is a rectangular space of 22 yards called a pitch with 2 wickets placed on the farthest ends. Each wicket comprises of 3 stumps (vertical stakes) and 2 bails (horizontal stakes) that sits on top of the stumps. After a coin toss, the captain of the team that wins the toss, decides whether he or she wants to bat or field. The game may be 50 or 20 overs for each team for a days play, 6 balls per over. Some games however can run as long as 5 days in the case of a test match. The objective of the game is for the batting team to make as many runs in the allotted time with 2 bats men at a time while the fielding or bowling team attempts to dismiss the bats men in the same time given, using all 11 players on the field. There are 3 umpires in all who oversea the games play, 2 on the field and a 3rd umpire or video umpire who is situated off the field and adjudicates the game. I wouldn’t want to confuse anyone with all the positions on the field like the gulley, 3rd man, 2nd slip, mid off, fine leg, deep backward point, silly point, cover, extra cover, anybody confused yet? I still am at times!

But a true West Indian knows that all of that is not what is really important. Anyone who has ever been to a cricket match in the Caribbean knows that it’s all about the atmosphere of the game. It’s all about the entertainment, it’s about the personalities and characters that you see and meet. It’s about the people you greet and the bonding experience with other West Indians and persons around the world. Certainly we want our team to win but we all enjoy the music that ‘chickies hifi’ (a local musical DJ) plays when a West Indian hits that new ball over and out of the stadium. We know it’s about the bar-b-que chicken that is hot and sizzling and local drinks readily available for purchase from any of the many vendors selling both inside and outside of the grounds. It’s about jumping for joy and screaming at the top of your lungs when a bats man hits a 4 or 6 or when the wicket keeper gets that crucial stumping just when the bats man looses concentration and steps out his crease. It’s about watching gravy (local entertainer) entertain the crowd as he displays his acrobatic skills on the stands during the breaks.

I can remember going to the school boys stand with my brother when we were in primary school. I would always get excited as we settled in with our lunch and snacks in our nap sack, water and juice on hand. Of course it was more exciting if West Indies was winning but if they weren’t, it was still ok because we were enjoying the atmosphere. I don’t remember knowing too much about the rules back then, neither was I ever keeping score. Good thing there was a score board, unless I would have been completely lost with who was winning and who was losing. Even without the score board you would be gently reminded of the winning team by the crowd’s reaction. If there was a lot of noise, laughing, happy faces and smiles, you know we were winning for sure. But if you heard more than your share of choice words, gloomy faces and arguing, then you know we were on the losing side.

But it’s not all fun and games for everyone, there are the die-hard fans, those persons who are very serious about the game and not interested in frolicking or chit chatting. These are the persons who would have their eyes fixed on the field, watching the players every move and criticizing or commenting every stroke of the ball and every over bowled. You would definitely know these fans as they sport off their small fm radios, that would constantly blast in their ears as they hang on to the commentators every descriptive words as the game progressed.

As the players take the tea break, the kiddy cricketers appropriately and smartly dressed for the occasion would take center stage as they mimic the adults they just saw with their tiny bats in hands, hopping and skipping around the field until it was time to resume the real game.

Definitely, no real game would be complete without seeing a visitor prance across the field dressed in nothing but their birthday suit, dodging the police officer with their many twist and turns, until they are eventually caught.

So you see, you can appreciate that watching a game of cricket is not limited to just watching the game but it’s about enjoying everything that surrounds it, from the entertainment on and off the field, from those in the party stand to the serious fans. It’s about the mouth watering food, great music and company. Watching cricket in the West Indies is a well rounded experience packed with a little of everything for everyone. Cricket lovely cricket!

The calypso below was written after the West Indies won the

 test match in 1950 against England at Lords

VICTORY CALYPSO – Egbert Moore (“Lord Beginner”)

Cricket lovely Cricket,

At Lord’s where I saw it;

Cricket lovely Cricket,

At Lord’s where I saw it;

Yardley tried his best

But Goddard won the test.

They gave the crowd plenty fun;

Second Test and West Indies won.


Chorus:With those two little pals of mine

Ramadhin and Valentine.


The King was there well attired,

So they started with Rae and Stollmeyer;

Stolly was hitting balls around the boundary;

But Wardle stopped him at twenty.

Rae had confidence,

So he put up a strong defence;

He saw the King was waiting to see,

So he gave him a century.


Chorus:With those two little pals of mine

Ramadhin and Valentine.


West Indies first innings total was three-twenty-six

Just as usual

When Bedser bowled Christiani

The whole thing collapsed quite easily;

England then went on,

And made one-hundred-fifty-one;

West Indies then had two-twenty lead

And Goddard said, “That’s nice indeed.”


Chorus:With those two little pals of mine

Ramadhin and Valentine.


Yardley wasn’t broken-hearted

When the second innings started;

Jenkins was like a target

Getting the first five in his basket.

But Gomez broke him down,

While Walcott licked them around;

He was not out for one-hundred and sixty-eight,

Leaving Yardley to contemplate.


Chorus:The bowling was superfine

Ramadhin and Valentine.


West Indies was feeling homely,

Their audience had them happy.

When Washbrook’s century had ended,

West Indies voices all blended.

Hats went in the air.

They jumped and shouted without fear;

So at Lord’s was the scenery

Bound to go down in history.


Chorus:After all was said and done

Second Test and the West Indies won!

 Want to know more about the game, click the links below to find more details

Think you know about cricket, play these fun trivia games

99-Year-Old Sprinter Sets World Record: “I’m Running From Old Age…”

99 year old sprinter

99 year old sprinter

Whats your excuse? Get up and move your body!

Even though Ida Keeling came in last place in the 100 meter race on August 12th, 2014, she took first place in the record books. The 99-year-old great-great-grandmother from New York finished the 100-meter race with a time of 59.8 seconds, becoming the first woman in the 95-99 age group to have completed the event in an internationally certified race, according to her daughter, Shelley Keeling.

“I’m running from old age and arthritis,” Keeling told the local Akron Beacon Journal before the race. “Believe me!” Explaining her routine now, she added: “I try to do everything for about an hour unless I’m tired, because I’m no spring chicken, honey. That’s why I like the sprint — I go as fast as I can and get it over with and feel good about myself.”

Ida, standing 4 feet 6 and weighing 83 pounds, started competitive running at age 67 to help deal with grief over losing her two sons.

“I was so depressed, and my daughter wanted to take me on a mini run,” Keeling said before the race (via the Akron Beacon Journal). “After it was finished, I felt relaxed and relieved.”
“She was sinking deeper and deeper,” Shelley said (via the Akron Beacon Journal). “I said, ‘Mama, you had four kids, but I only have one mother. You’re coming out with me.’ I wasn’t sure if it would work, but I knew I had to try something.”
Keeling lives by herself in a studio apartment and uses the gym twice a week in addition to running and yoga, according to the Akron Beacon Journal. Shelley, 63, is a real estate investor who coaches track at Fieldston School in the Bronx.

Ida has set records when she ran a 60m race in 2011, when she was 95, and again two years later.

Keeling is closing in on triple-digits in age, but she is still an avid fan of exercise and eating healthy. She plans on running the 100-meters again in 2015, this time going for a record in the age 100-104 division.

“Eat for nutrition, not for taste. Do what you need to do, not what you want to do and don’t leave out your daily exercise. Love yourself,” she says.

In a world of excuses, Ida Keeling has every reason not to put herself through strenuous sprinting. She has a dark personal past, a naturally tiny body, arthritis concerns and old age to worry about. But Keeling keeps on running.


Health Tip: stress kills!?!

Did you know that stress can LITERALLY make you sick? Of course we all encounter some form of stress like being stuck in traffic or the loss of a love one or friend. But continuous, intense mental and physical stress can kill you. The problem is not the stress itself but how we respond to it. This is so because we see different things to be stressful. So what is this ‘stress’ that we all talk about and we all experience? Bear in mind that it can be both positive and negative.

Stress is defined as the body’s response or reaction to a particular situation. The effects of stress can affect you mentally, physically and it can affect your behaviour. An example of mental stress can be the trauma a soldier undergoes after returning from war and physical stress can be in the form of a major operation that you have at the hospital.

What would our lives be without stress, actually quite boring indeed! Stress is actually designed to challenge us thus making us better. What makes the difference is how we cope with the stressful event that we face.

I would like to share the physical effects that stress can have on the body, highlighting 3 common diseases that can be caused. And in turn share 3 ways you can start today in order to help you deal with the stress you feel.

The 1st illness I would like to talk about is hypertension, also called high blood pressure. High blood pressure is a disease in which the pressure in the arteries of the body increases. The arteries are those structures in the body that carries blood away from the heart to the rest of the body. Hypertension can affect many organs and structures in the body including the brain, the heart, the kidneys and of course the arteries. The scary thing about high blood pressure is that it is a silent killer. It has little to no symptoms associated with it as other diseases do. Some persons, however, get headaches, pain at the back of the neck, may get lightheaded, dizzy or even faint. The only way to know for sure if you are hypertensive is by checking you blood pressure and a medical care practitioner will tell you whether your recorded pressure is normal for your age, activity or underline health status. You could be told that you have high blood pressure if you have 3 consecutive high readings. Not to worry you can manage your high pressure by adjusting your diet before a doctor will consider adding medication.  High blood pressure can be very serious and should not be taken lightly. It can lead to serious problems like kidney failure, damage to the eye, and a heart attack, which is the 2nd illness I would like to highlight that can be caused by stress.

A heart attack or myocardial infarction happens when there isn’t sufficient blood flow to the vessels that lead to and surround the heart. When there is a consistent decrease or absence of blood flow for a long period of time the cells of the heart muscle become damaged or die. Some of the symptoms may include, severe chest pain, in the middle of the chest that can move to the left arm, shoulder, jaw or back. It is usually described as the worse pain ever that can even wake you out of your sleep, lasting more than 20 minutes. You could also feel faint, dizzy, have profuse sweating or feel shortness of breath. But be aware that in women, older persons and people with diabetes may have little or no chest pain. If you think you or someone you know might be having a heart attack, call 911 immediately. Do not attempt to drive yourself to the hospital.

The 3rd illness that can be caused by stress is stomach ulcers. These types of ulcers are also called stress ulcers. Stomach ulcers are caused when the inner lining of the stomach eats away from the acid that is naturally produced in the stomach. This acid is essential as it aids in the digestion process. As the lining erodes it can cause excruciating pain or discomfort in the upper area of the tummy. Other problems include excessive belching and the feeling to vomiting. People with stress ulcers can reduce the damage already done by changing their eating habits and of course reducing or coping better with their stressful situation

So what can we do to reduce our stress level or respond in more favourablely to stressful events or situations.

  1. Seek a support group or professional help: many persons don’t deal well with stress or are not quite sure what to do. Depending on your particular situation, it could be helpful to reach out to someone who is in your situation or somebody who can better understand. It is best to seek someone who is well knowledgeable about the topic and in which you can confined. Sometimes it can be difficult to determine who you can confine in, but there are different groups and organizations where you can reach out too to get help. Seek and you shall find.
  2. Relaxations techniques: there are many different ways you can relax. You have to determine for yourself what techniques works best for you. These can include exercises including aerobics, yoga, walks, playing a sport, reading a good book, going to the beach etc.
  3. And a surprisingly, eating water melons: water melon is a fruit used all over the world and in every culture. There are over 1200 varieties of watermelons. Apart from hydrating your body because water melons contains92% water and  6% sugar, and like other fruits are rich in vitamin C, very importantly they contain a substance called citrulline. Recent studies have discovered that this very important substance that relaxes the blood vessels in the body thus improving blood flow. When the blood vessels are relaxed, it allows for more blood to flow to the vital organs and increasing oxygen flow to these parts. In fact, Dr Bhimu Patil, director of Texas A&M’s Fruit and vegetable Improvement Center says that water melon may actually have the same effects of Viagra.

Read Dr Patil full story here

So how are you coping with your stress or stressful situation? Share your tips!

Motivational Tip: self love

4 Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6 it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. 7 It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 8 Love never ends. But as for prophecies, they will come to an end; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will come to an end. 9 For we know only in part, and we prophesy only in part; 10 but when the complete comes, the partial will come to an end. 11 When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became an adult, I put an end to childish ways. 12 For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then we will see face to face. Now I know only in part; then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known. 13 And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13: verses 4-13 (New Revised Standard Version)

How do you expect someone to love you and treat you with respect if you don’t love yourself? Do you love yourself? Do you express that love in the way you dress, talk or walk? Is is expressed in the way you treat you body and mind on a daily basis? Not showing your self love can be a very dangerous path to take as it can be disastrous not only to yourself but family, friends and love ones around you. No you are not selfish to pamper yourself or treat yourself with a little extra tender loving care on occasions. You are simply showing your self love. Loving your self is a good way to attract love, to exude love and to create a stress free atmosphere with positive energy around you, where ever you may go. When others see how you treat yourself, they in turn will treat you in the same manner. Self love is not being full of yourself, it is simply demonstrating acceptance of the way you are and showing self gratitude. Show your self some love today, give your self a hug, a kiss even :-). Love thy self and love will follow, the same love that your creator shows you, unconditional love, selfless love, pure love.