Monday, November 28, 2011

Dear Dana...Unfulfilled SAHM

Dear Dana, 

In the last year in a half I have bought a house, gotten married, had a baby and now I'm across the country away from my family and friends.  My husband is in the military so I thought you could help me with my dilemma.   Also, what made me ask this is I think your advice in your ask Dana segment is awesome.   

Outside of being mother and wife, how can I find fulfillment?  I love taking care of my family, but at the end of the day I feel so unfulfilled.  I feel like I give so much to my husband and daughter that I often feel like "what about me"? 

I hope this question makes sense.

Feel free to post this on  your blog.  Thanks in advance for your advice.  

Unfulfilled Stay at Home Mom


Hey Unfulfilled SAHM,

Firstly, I want to thank you for writing me. I appreciate your time and effort and even the opportunity to talk to you about this. Also, we thank the military members for their service but I like to thank the families, as well. I have been a military brat, a military sister, wife. I believe that the military life is in my blood. I ooze camouflage. LOL!! When you are new to the military life it takes a bit of adjusting and I thank you for sharing your spouse with us for a brave and heroic cause. 

Secondly, Do not feel bad about not feeling that you're being fulfilled as a person outside of being a new mother and wife. It is perfectly normal. I have been there. So have many women all over the world. 

Being a new mother in itself is a shocking new experience. To be a  new wife, well that is just as shocking. The new life that you have to balance can be different (for lack of a better word). 

When becoming a military wife. You realize that you have to pack up and move away from a life that you are very comfortable with. Moving to a life that is filled with ACRONYMS and a lot of hurry up and wait. Most times adjusting to this life is hard. Sometimes you give up your career to support the efforts of your spouse. All that you knew in the past is just that...the past. I believe that being active in the military community can be very positive. You can meet some great friends and find a great support system. You can even do volunteer work on post that will earn you free daycare hours to use for those times that you just need some "me" time. 

As a new SAHM, you will find yourself spending all your time taking care of your precious baby. Not that you are complaining but it can be a bit shocking. Then you find that you have forgotten about YOU. Sometimes, people feel regretful of the life they chose. Again, its all natural. Mothers tend to feel bad when they seek some sort of escape.
Its nothing wrong wanting a life outside of the house. I believe that its healthy. When I have "me" time away from my family, I come back home missing my family and I am ready to get back to my full time job of being a mother and wife. 

I believe that mothers need time to themselves once in a while. I am hey mom. I am hey Baby. I am also Dana. Hence the name of my blog....

I went through this. I even got depressed about it. I mean dang...what about me.? Not saying that my family didn't allow me to feel fulfilled. Actually they encouraged me. It was me that felt bad that I wanted a life outside of cleaning diapers, cleaning house, and all those things that come with being a SAHM. 

At first, I went back to work a few hours a day. That was wonderful. I was able to talk to adults. Then I moved. So I had to figure out what was next. I also made friends with ladies that had children the same age as my child. The children could interact and then I was able to have more adult time. I have a few good friends to this day by going on play dates. Ha! Then I moved again. Got pregnant with twins. WHAT!!! Talk about overwhelming. It was about that time for my oldest to start preschool. I signed him up and me and the twins went walking in the mall for mommy to get exercise and window shop. Then I moved again. Life of a military wife. Ok, whats next?? Me time. I needed time to get out and get a way. So once a week, I would just sit in Starbucks and veg. I went back to school and I volunteered. 

Before kids, I worked full time. I worked 50-60 hours per week in retail management to not working at all. I found that volunteering helped my resume and got me out the house. I realized that sitting in the house was draining. I felt that the world was moving on but I was stuck in place doing the same thing over and over...Like that movie Groundhog's Day. 

I started sewing, exercising, and going out once night a week with friends. Since we were boring, the bookstore was big time for us. 

So see, the best thing I could tell you is, if your husband is home and working normal hours, get bottles and diapers together and let daddy and baby have some alone time for an hour or two. Its healthy for you and the bond between daddy and baby is beautiful.

The key is channeling in things that you like to do and create the opportunity for it. I know someone that started her one personal assistance company from home. She performed Administrative operations, did shopping, and anything that she could do with her child. Be creative...The world is yours. 

I believe the way to find fulfillment is not filling bad that you need something outside of your duties of being a mother and wife.  You didn't mention what branch of service your husband was in but most are consistent across the board and if you want some information that I have learned and found for the Army, MWR, and many other sources ,let me know. 

School!! Go back to school. There are a lot of opportunities out there for you to go back to school for free. So if you wouldn't mind going back to school, now if the perfect opportunity to do so from home. 

Figure out what makes you happy outside of being a mom and wife and see how you can incorporate it in your life. 

I hope I helped a little. There is so much I can say but I didnt want to keep going on and on. 

Feel free to contact me anytime. Follow me on Twitter  at @disfordana or email me at Shoot me a line. I would love to talk about it. You are not alone! 

Thank you again!!!!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Black Tea Leave In and Avacado oil

Shea Butter Whip

Back in April, I reviewed ILOVEMYFRO.COM's Shea butter whip. Even after taking a few months off from using it. I still say that I love that product. 

Months ago, I realized that Harmony is offering two more products, the black tea leave in and the avocado oil.

Shea Butter Whip
I decided to order to see how these products work on my hair. I had success with the Shea butter whip despite that aloe juice. I have a protein sensitivity so products with Aloe can irritate my scalp.

Travel/Sample Kit
When I visited the website, I realized that the tea leave-in had aloe so I was a bit hesitant to try but Harmony sells travel/sample sizes. Sizes that you can really try and determine if its for you. Nothing better than getting at least one or two uses out of a sample product. I was able to get a week of use out of the black tea leave in and I still have a lot of oil left.

$12 Travel size included
1 2oz Shea Butter Whip (Choose a scent)
1 20z Black Tea Leavin
1 2oz Avocado Oil

After a week of usage, I decided to order two more bottles of the tea leave-in and another bottle of avocado oil.

Below are pictures of my twist out using the shea butter whip, black tea leave-in and avocado oil.2011-11-17_16-06-43_279.jpg2011-11-17_11-45-40_217.jpg2011-11-17_11-45-01_783.jpg
A lot of shrinkage but the definition is beautiful.

First lets talk ingredients and benefits.

Black Tea Leave InThe Black Tea Leave-In is  $12 for 8 oz
Ingredients and details:

Black tea contains caffeine that has many benefits for hair.

It has been proven to thicken the hair, slow or stop shedding and stimulate growth.
 The main benefit of caffeine is that it blocks the DHT (Dihydrotestosterone) from  causing hair to shed.
 Ingredients: Distilled Water, Black Tea, Aloe Vera Juice, Vegetable Glycerin, Essential Oils, Citric Acid and Fragrance.
 How to Use: Apply to freshly shampooed, conditioned and detangled  hair before applying a moisturizer or styling product. Can also be used daily to refresh your  style

Can also be used as a detangler!
Caution: Will slightly darken hair.

My take on the product...

I dont know if I will call this product a leave-in as a traditional conditioner type product since when I think of a leave-in, I think of a conditioner/moisturizer type product. I think I use it more for a revitalizer.

This product acts as a great refresher and moisturizer base when performing a twist out. I use it to moisturize my hair at night before bed and I use it before the Shea butter whip for a twist out. I believe that 3 and 4 hair types will not be able to detangle with this product used alone. It is a thin product that doesnt offer much slip. 

I personally believe that shedding is a great thing. Though, I also believe that your hair can have excessive shredding when its dry. This is why I consider this product a refresher or revitalizer. I dont  use this product to reduce shedding because I want shredding. No breakage but shredding is good. 

With all that said I love this product for my usage. I couldnt tell you about the reduction of shredding because I dont use it for that but I can tell you that it is very moisturizing. 

The fragrance is simply black tea with me.

Avocado OilFor 4oz the price is $6. The Avocado oil is great, also. It is a thick oil with a lot of benefits. There are claims that it reduces the risk of cancer, reduces bad cholesterol, and is an excellent sealant for the hair.

I believe that it is about the same thickness of extra virgin olive oil with more of a  green color.

Avocado oil has a number of benefits and uses and its use in hair care is one of its most important benefits.

It is an edible oil that is extracted from the avocado fruit pulp and has a sweet and nutty aroma. 

It has a light texture that makes it easy to soak into the scalp and skin. 

Use of avocado oil for hair can help deal with a number of hair related problems like hair fall, thinning hair and dandruff.


My take on the product...

I like this product so far. I have only used it for a week so I can tell you the long term benefits but so far so good. I use this product to seal my ends and a little more my scalp after being moisturized. I would use this product again. I believe that because of the great benefits and the price, which is great comparing what I have seen at my natural food stores, I will definitely use it again. 

So what happened

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, Happy Thanksgiving by the way, I want to talk about weight loss. I was sitting here thinking that when I'm active with my weight loss journey, I'm obsessed with the scale. Everyday I'm on the scale freaking out but when I'm slacking I seem to be allergy to the scale. Well after a few months of this allergy, I decided it was time for me to get back on the scale. When I did so, I was appalled because I gained too much weight. What a way to motivate yourself. So I'm not waiting for the new year to say its time I do something about my weight. So I fell off the wagon but I need to finish this journey to stay living a life of maintenance. Can't complain that I hate being this size and not do something. Its time to do something.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

I think I like it...

I'm out of town and do have much time to blog but I wanted you all to know that I tried Ilovemyfro oil and leave-in spray and I think I found some winners. I will give a full review and how I used each product when I return but if you are sleeping on this company, please think again. Harmony is on her stuff. Shipping is super fast and her products have worked really well for me.

I am still waiting on my Original Moxi products that I ordered but as soon as they arrive, I will let you know how I like. I have been hearing a lot about this company and I wanted to check them out for myself.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Product Review: Shea Moistures Deep Moisture Masque

9.99 for 12 oz

As I stated in my previous post about moisture, When I washed my hair this week I did a deep condition with the Deep Treatment Masque for the first time. Again, I purchased it at Walgreens. I seem to always find all my Shea Moisture products in Walgreens when I have issues finding it other places.

I washed and then applied the Masque to my hair section by section with the total of 4 sections. I did this because I realized that this thick product wasnt going to last me long because I am heavy handed on the hair products. So sectioning my hair and applying it by sections helps.

The product slip was excellent. It made detangling very easy and I think it only took me a few minutes. I put on my plastic cap and sat for an hour. After I rinsed the product out, my hair was very soft and felt very moisturized.I also used very little as a moisturizer with my grease twist-out. My hair is still in twists (protective style) with lots of shine. LOVING it!! I will take pictures when I take the twist out.

I am loving these soft twist out with definition...LOVING I say.

Back to the product thickness, it is very thick. I loved that! The smell, I love it. So does my husband. He keeps smelling my hair. It reminds me of any body salt that has sea kelp in it. If you don't like perfume-y smells this may not be for you because it has a strong smell but yet I find it very pleasant.

Below you will find the company's description and ingredients.

One ingredient that you name not be familiar with is the Emulsifying Wax. Basically, the emulsifying wax is a bonding agent. It binds all the oils and water so it will remain blended. It is used a lot in moisturizers.

My final thoughts....I like it. I only used this product once so I would have to continue use to really see if my hair loves it.


    Our all-natural intense treatment masque deeply penetrates to moisturize and repair over-processed, dry, brittle or damaged hair. Sea kelp trace minerals detoxify hair follicles of impurities and residue. Argan oil restores shine and rebuilds hair elasticity. Shea butter deeply moisturizes and repairs damage to hair and scalp.
    • Heal, grow & strengthen
    • No parabens, phthalates, paraffin, gluten, propylene glycol, mineral oil, synthetic fragrance, PABA, synthetic color, DEA, animal ingredients or sulfates
    • Cruelty free, no animal testing
    • Ethically traded ingredients, sustainably produced
    • Color-safe
    Made in USA

    Leave on hair for 5-30 minutes, then thoroughly rinse, or leave in hair and use as a frizz-free moisturizing styling cream..


Deionized Water , Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter) , Argan Oil , Vegetable Glycerin , Emulsifying Wax , Sea Kelp Extract , Panthenol (Vitamin B-5) , Essential Oil Blend , Avocado Oil , Lonicera Caprifolium Flower and Lonicera Japonica Flower Extract (Honeysuckle and Japanese Honeysuckle) , Tocopherol (Vitamin E) , Hyssopus Officinalis Extract , Salvia Officinalis Leaf and Equisetum Arvense Extract (Sage) , Soybean Oil , Daucus Carota Sativa Seed Oil (Carrot)

I'm strung out and addicted

When you are addicted to drugs, you have to stop drug intake. If you are an alcoholic, no more alcohol. A smoker has to ditch the cigs. They have to maintain their life avoiding their addiction.

But what about a food addict? You don't think that there is a such thing. Think again! Food can be an addiction but how do you overcome that addiction. You cant avoid. You are faced with your addiction everyday. You have to teach yourself the benefits of food and how to eat food. Another think that I have to do is learn to put exercise in my a regular basis. Whether I enjoy it or not, I have to do it. 30 minutes to an hour per day. I have to move and groove along with eating better.

I believe that in order to face my addiction to eating, its to avoid processed food. Ever notice that when you get that easy boxed or fast food that you want more and more. Drink one soda and you have a need for another. I feel that the stuff is addicting. Not to mention, anything that you eat processed can be made at home.

So what's the purpose of this blog post, you say!!! Well I think I am going to try to cut down the processed food in my diet. From time to time, I may share some recipes with you that can be inexpensive and easy because that's why we sought out processed food is price and time.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Dear Dana...(TDY)Temporarily Divorced for a year???

First I would like to thank you for this email. I havent received one of these in a while and I will try to answer it as best as I can. I will paraphrase and leave out any personal demographics, as always.

Today, I was asked if I ever heard of TDY...Temporary Divorced for a year and should military spouses be concerned....

 Yes, I have heard of the term a few times before. I really dislike the term because its a pretty derogatory stereotype...

Yet it is true is some marriages. I have heard that it is an accepted behavior in some marriages or relationships. I was told that its a way for each person to have intimate relationships when the service member is deployed of at a temporary duty station. 

Do I agree with it? 
Well, I say to each its own. If that works in some relationships and it doesn't create any issues then do you. But personally, no. 

 Do I believe that it is healthy? 

Personally no. I believe that if you are married it should be between two people with no outsiders (temporary mates). I believe that if you feel that you have to do that maybe the commitment to marriage isn't quite there yet. 

One of the hardest things to deal with in a marriage with a service member is the absence. I truly believe that a couple should seek marital or relationship counseling to help handle the absence of intimacy, if the situation is too hard to deal with. (But this is also coming from someone that is planning to get my masters in Marriage Counseling) I believe that seeking a mediator can be a good thing. Seeking out advise and assistance can give another perspective and also offer ideas to keep intimacy going in a relationship even when the service member is away. Also talking to your mate is key. You need to know what they need and what you need in the relationship while he or she is away. Even I have different things or practices that my husband do to try to keep intimacy alive, even when he is miles and miles away. 

Another thing we must remember is that intimacy is not always sex. These are things that you need to be open with your spouse about. Know what intimacy means to each other. Once you know, you need to identify want each other is comfortable with and try to move from there. I cannot stress this enough....COMMUNICATION is key! You have to communicate to each other your needs in order to have them fulfilled. 

If sex is a must, then maybe we are talking about something deeper than what is on surface and that in itself needs to be faced and handled. 

Do I think that majority of service members and spouses believe in the Temporary Divorced for a year?

Absolutely not! As military families we have and can maintain healthy relationships. But like any other healthy relationship, we have to remember any relationship takes hard work and dedication. 

I hope that answered your question. Please feel free to email me if you should have any more questions. I am not a professional counselorand can only offer you "friend to friend" opinions. When in need of counseling as a military spouse, we can always call ACS for referrals to professional counselors. 

How to tell if your curly hair needs more moisture

 especially in the winter. Well this is one way that I can tell with the ladies in my house hair. 
I can tell that our hair is hungry for moisture based on our curl pattern most of the time. When our curls are more fizzy and has less bounce its usually a good indicator for us. Soon as I add that extra moisture back in our hair the curls are smooth and has beautiful shine, again.  

Well since the fall is here I have noticed that I need to add extra moisture. For the girls, it is as simple as adding a co-wash midweek and for myself adding more deep conditioning with the heat of my hooded dryer to my routine. I don't  co-wash often for my hair because my scalp really doesn't like it. The co-washing for the girls makes their hair so bouncy and has a great sheen.

One thing to remember with your hair is that moisture is not mineral oil or any other oil. They are sealants. I believe that is why people believes that oils dry their hair out. Not so much that its drying their hair out but its just coating already dry hair blocking any moisture from being adsorb from the atmosphere.

The key is finding a  good moisturizer is a product that offers you water as the first ingredient. I tend to purchase moisturizers that do not have mineral oil because I want to lock the oil in my hair myself.  I am not against oils in products but I want to add the oils to my hair when I feel that I have delivered enough moisture  I personally believe that if the product already has a sealant then I can not add more moisture because it has already placed a seal on the strands. But that is just me. There are also a lot of products on the market that does offer this and is affordable. I realize people are very concerned about doing product broke. You just have to read the label.

Once I have added my desired moisture to my hair, I seal. Seal your hair with whatever your hair likes. But one thing that I suggest is to not oil your scalp. You body and hair produces natural oils and its no need to oil the scalp.

People also tend to forget that when we are not drinking enough water our body, skin, and hair suffers. So make sure that you are drinking plenty of water.

November's shoedazzle picks

I am WAYYY late with this but I forgot all about it. This month..well today I ordered two pairs of shoes. I had a credit so I was able to get to pair of shoes for the price of one. So here are my Shoedazzle picks for this month.

OmairaCijiWhen the chocolate brown pair arrives I will add pictures since it is blurry here.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Grease and water twist outs...forgot about something

I just realized that I cant start my protective styling challenge until December because I was already challenging myself well documenting  if my hair enjoys my grease and water twist outs.

I wore it in a donut bun last week realizing that I was supposed to be documenting my grease and water results...Doing too much. LOL!!! So I am back at my twist outs. Co-washing tonight...

So far so good. The only thing that I did realize is that I prefer my hair twisted with grease when its clean and wet. They are neater, less greasy feeling and no build up. Other than that, I still say that my twist outs with grease are amazing. 

I do use a leave-in under my grease for twisting... I have been dipping and dabbing with those also. 

I also ordered Ilovemyfro black tea moisturizer and avocado oil this weekend. When it arrives I will have a give a product preview and review after a week of use. 

Here's some info from the website. 

Black Tea Leave In

                                                                                                   Black tea contains caffeine that has many benefits for hair. It has been proven to thicken the hair, slow or stop shedding and stimulate growth.
The main benefit of caffeine is that it blocks the DHT (Dihydrotestosterone) from causing hair to shed.

Ingredients: Distilled Water, Black Tea, Aloe Vera Juice, Vegetable Glycerin, Essential Oils, Citric Acid and Fragrance.

How to Use: Apply to freshly shampooed, conditioned and detangled  hair before applying a moisturizer or styling product. Can also be used daily to refresh your  style.
Can also be used as a detangler!

Caution: Will slightly darken hair.

Avocado oil has a number of benefits and uses and its use in hair care is one of its most important benefits.
It is an edible oil that is extracted from the avocado fruit pulp and has a sweet and nutty aroma. 
Avocado Oil
It has a light texture that makes it easy to soak into the scalp and skin. 

Use of avocado oil for hair can help deal with a number of hair related problems like hair fall, thinning hair and dandruff.