Monday, April 7, 2014

You are what you eat--why I juice.

"My name is Nelly...and I am a Juicer..."

Recently I came to a realization. Not really a new realization,  but for some reason things hit home for me the other day when I realized how much juicing had changed my lifestyle. I was in line at my local grocery store and I looked around to see what other people were purchasing (Yes, I am nosey. Don't judge me, I can not help it). Cereal, eggs, microwavable meals, meat, juice, soda, and the occasional fruit and vegetable. Afterwards I looked in my cart and noted the difference-- celery, cucumbers, apples, kale, spinach, lemon, ginger, carrot, beets, pineapple, etc. That's when it hit me---juicing is a lifestyle change.

But why?
After watching the documentary Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead I was inspired to use juicing as away of feeding my body the nutrients it needed, being at optimal health, and of course see what impact it would have on my STUBBORN midsection. I have never been a big vegetable eater and I was excited to see what juice concoctions I could make so I could drink my daily dose of veggies. The first....a recipe I stumbled across for hair growth on Naturally Curly  : 

  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 cup of alfalfa sprouts
  • 1 cup of spinach
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 large carrot or two medium carrots
  • 2 apples
  • 2 stalks of celery
  • 1 inch piece of ginger
Later on I began adding beets to my recipe for the added benefit of energy and drinking it first thing in the morning as a way to kick start my day.

The taste?
Not as bad as it sounds! LOL. Honestly, it's tolerable. Look at this way, a glass of juice takes seconds to drink. You can tolerate anything for a few seconds...can't you? ; D 

I have begun experimenting with some new juice creations. I promise to share all the really good ones here. 

Until then..keep it kinky.


Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Trinidad Carnival 2014--The Reviews: SCORCH









No matter the location- Trinidad, Miami, Barbados--SCORCH typically doesn't disappoint. And Scorch Carnival Saturday was no exception. Customer service was a 10. There were plenty of people around to make sure you were safe, fed, and intoxicated (or at least nice). They even upgraded the "Scorch Shot" by adding shot glasses for the folks who have a hard time taking that bottle to the head! If you came hungry (I usually forget to eat  regularly during carnival... so this is  important for me) you were able to choose from a variety of items like Cold Stone Creamery,  Corn Soup, Doubles, Phoulorie, Fried Chicken, Aunt Anne's Pretzels, Fire Stix.... Fire Stix...Fire Stix...yea so about those Fire Stix

I have to pause here to confess my absolute obsession addiction to Fire Stix. Last year during carnival I saw a few Fire Stix here and there. I think I may have even have had one  or two BUT this year at Scorch I realized how awesome they were. What  exactly is a Fire Stix? Made with the infamous Puncheon  (overproof) Trini rum this popsicle is about 20% alcohol by volume and DELICIOUS. (Special note for the Puncheon Girl who refused to give me more than one Fire Stix on Carnival Tuesday. I am not sorry for the side eye I gave you or the 10 Fire Stix I took 60 seconds later #addictionisreal )

This is how I spent most of Carnival Monday and Tuesday....obsessed with Fire Stix 
The best part of Scorch was no long wait or fight for anything. The Bars were well stocked and the bartenders were plentiful. 

Even the people on line look happy! 

My only complaint about Scorch was the stage. When I see a stage at a fete I expect to see performers. Now, I will admit I did not stay until the end of Scorch but while I was there the stage was filled with people who wanted to take full advantage of the opportunity for 5 minutes of carnival fame. You know the scene... women trying their hardest to show off their whining skills, selfie photo shoots, and a lot of random behavior. Now, let's not get it twisted  carnival is about all of that, but I don't need it on stage. After a while it became too much!

I give scorch a 9 out of 10.
My two wishes for the promoters:
1. Scorch should come to Brooklyn for Labor Day.
2. More entertainment -use the stage, hire a clown, rent a mechanical bull--some type of unique touch that will make Scorch Epic!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Trinidad Carnival 2014--The Reviews: AMbush

Hmmmmm....Where should I start?! Overall Carnival was AMAZING! People keep asking me about my experience and I know the few words I manage to utter do not come close to describing the EPICNESS that is carnival. You just had to be there!  Sure, there were some hiccups along the way but overall I can not complain, money well spent, carnival was an 11 out of 10.

Ok, so time for some deets. My first fete in Trini was Carnival Friday night a few hours after I arrived in Trini, Caesars Army AMbush.  This was one fete I was looking  forward to attending since its inception. After years of looking at everyone's pictures and reading the reviews I booked my flight (and took extra time off work) to ensure that the fete didn't miss me. Quiet as it is kept among those involved, my crew and I missed Caesars Army AMBush  this Crop Over (I blame Bliss). My Jersey is still clean, Caesar's Army cup unused, #sad. BUT NOT THIS YEAR!!!!

Rough Start--
When my crew and I arrived at the car park for AMbush around 4 am I was immediately concerned. Parking was unsupervised and the shuttle service looked more like a maxi stand in P.O.S, 6 Maxi's lined up already full with passengers but not moving. Around me were others like myself, Caesar's Army Jerseys, vests, cups, ready to go--but stuck.  Things remained like this for a while, with the only difference being more people arriving just to suffer the same fate. As the shuttle service began people began to rush the shuttles, the few police present seemed anxious, and the one person that seemed to be coordinating things was frazzled.  Maxi's were filling up with passengers  long before reaching the massive crowd which only added to the tension.  After about an hour of watching this go on walking down the dark road behind the Maxi's seemed like the only option for me. I am to small to fight people to get in a Maxi and I did not want to miss one more moment of this fete. So the journey began.  The whole crowd began to move at the same time. The walk to the venue was uneventful, once we arrived at the gates our arm bands were checked and we were "in ting". My advice... get there early and if you see a Maxi--don't ask questions-- hop in.

No coconut water, no scotch, no options. I could understand this happening in other islands but this is TRINIDAD--the land of scotch and coconut water--it is practically the national cocktail! No coconut water in Trinidad is unacceptable. AMbush is not a cheap fete, so I can not understand why there wasn't more variety in drink choices. Why should I have to drink  Fire Water--soda water and rum?   And after walking to the beginning of AMBush the mystery of it all is revealed. When I realized I was just going to walk back down the same path I already walked up I was disappointed but Caesar's Army had a few surprises in store that made up for it.

More on this pic later...
The VIBES in AMbush is the  only reason Caesars' Army will see me again! People came out to have a time and despite whatever else happened --they did. Something about the sun rising, paint,  colored powder, and soca music is intoxicating.  The highlight-- just when you thought  it was all over and it was time to look for your crew and go home you were greeted with Inflatable water slides, soccer fields, boxing rings, everything.  Aren't those toys for kids? YES, but they are SOOO much fun as an adult.

 I give AMbush a 8 out of 10. My 3 wishes for the promoters:

1. Please use the money you make from profits to hire more staff. There was a point when a friend of mine climbed on to the drink truck to get her own drink (see pic
2. Please have actual full size buses or more Maxis available. Waiting for an hour for shuttle service is unacceptable.

3. Scotch & Coconut Water. Man can not live on beer, vodka,  and rum alone.

Up Next--Scorch!

Until then...keep it kinky. ; )


Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Life of a Carnivalista -- 5 minute Plank Challenge

For the Carnivalista's who like myself are still trying to cinch that waist and drop a few pounds before Carnival Monday....
It's not over untill the fat lady sings!!!
#bustasweat   #lifeofacarnivalista

Carnival Tuesday....In Brooklyn!

This morning I woke up in a certain kind of mood...

 In my career I ask people to define their thoughts and feelings ALL of the time but this time around "using my words" isn't working.  I am excited! Trinidad carnival is literally around the corner, Private Ryan's Soca Brainwash mix has been released, and I am 50% packed and ready to go. I am also feeling a tad of jealousy (maybe not a tad) for the people who are already IN Trinidad--waking up in the sun, eating doubles, drinking during breakfast because "it's carnival", and of course feting (missing Machel Monday ALWAYS hurts).  And I am anxious! My Monday Wear is still under construction (hopefully I can pick it up today), my belly still pokes out like I swallowed a cantaloupe, and there is so much more I have to do between now and when I (FINALLY) depart on Friday!

In other news... I finished my Carnival Tuesday boots over the weekend. Deets to follow!!

#carnivalcrafting  #lifeofacarnivalista 

Just had to share folks!! For those of you who like me is anxiously awaiting their departure date, what do you have left on your carnival to do list? For those of you who are already there.... TAKE A WHINE FOR ME!!!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

7 Minutes for Perfection????


Trinidad carnival is around the corner.... and AS ALWAYS I am scrambling to tone up. The pressure is REAL...

Although I secured a gym a few moments from my house the snow that has been hitting NYC has been draining all of the motivation from me. Despite the influence of 2014 soca and planning fete outfits I have been spending the last few evenings snacking and watching Netflix (no shame!!!). 

When a friend of mine recently shared The  Scientific 7 Minute Workout  from The NY Times Magazine article on May 12th she gave me hope....


According to the article, "In 12 exercises deploying only body weight, a chair and a wall, it fulfills the latest mandates for high-intensity effort, which essentially combines a long run and a visit to the weight room into about seven minutes of steady discomfort — all of it based on science...The exercises should be performed in rapid succession, allowing 30 seconds for each, while, throughout, the intensity hovers at about an 8 on a discomfort scale of 1 to 10"

So what do you think people? Can you achieve perfection in 7 minutes?

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Hair Product Haul! & #NNCP Update

Hey People!

I just wanted to update you all on a few things....

First up, the #NNCP (No New Clothes Project), this @*%#! is hard. The seasons are changing and NEW Spring clothes are everywhere. When I  am on the internet, watch TV, or ride the train,the urge to shop takes over. Who knew my love affair with new clothing was THIS deep.  July seems so far away. The only saving grace is that I have given myself a tiny bligh for Trinidad Carnival. So along with the purchase of my Monday Wear and Boots (more on that later)I am allowing myself to buy one outfit per fete. And since I am not going to be in Trini long (more on that later too) that won't amount to much! After Trini though I am not sure how I am going to be able to maintain...

Keep me in your thoughts people!!

Enough about my suffering!! On to some goodies... well first some background info. For a while (since October)  I had been wearing extensions in various styles--cornrows, Senegalese twists, havana twists-- in an effort to give my hair a "break".  After NYE however I decided to let my hair breathe and was faced with the winter dilemma of DRY HAIR.  I went to a tried and true source, Curly Nikki, and left satisfied with some products I would try. 

Ok, on to the hair haul deets....

Curly Nikki raved about Oyin Handmade's Hair Dew in her Fall/Winter 2013 Hair Regimen Post! What struck me  the most was that she claimed this product moisturized without product buildup. I can't stand greasy hair, and I have learned there is a fine line between moisturized and oily hair strands!  When I went to the Oyin Handmade's website there were a few other products that caught my attention, so I decided to give the Snack Pack a try. The delivery was pretty quick (I received it the same week I ordered it) and they even added some candy and bubbles to the package (how cute)!   After a few uses I am absolutely addicted to the Hair Dew (Curly Nikki was right--moisture for days AND it smells amazing), the Greg Juice (compliments the Hair Dew smell nicely and comprised of hair friendly natural ingredients), and the Burnt Sugar Pomade (I use it as a sealant-- it adds shine, smells amazing, and of course seals. Also a little goes along way. I still have plenty left and I have used it several times). 

Now, I tired to use the Shine and Define but was thrown off by the consistency. It reminded me of a Shealo, whipped and airy. I rarely rock twist outs (which Shealo is ideal for) and the product had no real impact on my strands. This product may be beneficial to others, but for me, totally not worth it. I also tried the Honey Hemp conditioner as a leave-in ( Oyin claims it can be used as a leave-in, traditional conditioner, or deep conditioner) but the smell wasn't pleasant and the results were not as impressive as the Hair Dew. 


Curly Nikki wrote that Carol's Daughter's Monoi Oil was her go to because "it's non-greasy and seems to provide more nourishment than my regular oils". In her My Fall/Winter 2013 Natural Hair Regimen post and also mentioned that she adds oil to hair NIGHTLY to keep it soft and pliable.  I have been a huge fan of Vatika Oil for years  but I was willing to give the Monoi oil a try. The Vatika didn't seem to be having much impact. The jury is still out for me on the Monoi Oil. Although it isn't greasy and does seem to make my hair feel soft. I am not sure how long the benefits of the product lasts. And, quite frankly, if the cost  of this product is justified by the cost. In addition to this I am still experiencing some breakage which is disappointing because it is the one thing that this product was designed to combat.  I am not sure if I will reorder this one. 


I must confess I already own a hooded dryer and a hair steamer but I still felt the Hair Therapy Wrap would be a good edition to my hair regimen. Often times my deep condition time is minimized because I can't commit to sitting under the dryer for 30 mins (especially in the summer). With the Hair Therapy Wrap I can deep condition on the go while doing my laundry, my nails, cooking, whatever I need to do. I was skeptical at first about the length of time the wrap would stay warm for but it lasted about 30 mins and when I finally removed the wrap my head was still warm to the touch.  This purchase will be used every time I wash my hair.


My ALL TIME favorite deep conditioner, Joico Moisture Recovery Treatment Balm is formulated for thick/course dry hair. Which I believe describes my hair quite Each time I use this as a DC my hair comes out super soft and moisturized.  The price of this product though was a turn off in the past and I refused to purchase it unless  I found it in TJ Maxx or Marshalls which seldom happened. I decided to bite the bullet this time around an and purchase it because after the hair extensions my strands needed some TLC. 

That's all folks! Not too bad! Everything I purchased was necessary  and have been used more than once since I purchased them. What new products have you added to your WINTER HAIR regimen? 

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

The NO New Clothes Project

"No new clothes, no new clothes, no new clothes, no, no,  new..." (Drake voice)


This Christmas I  realized I had a serious issue... SHOPPING.  Let me be honest, I always knew I had a problem. Anyone that knows me knows I have a problem.  My closets are packed, brimming with clothes, some that I know I  am currently unaware even exist. Anyone who visits my place remarks on the sheer amount of STUFF I have. Then this Christmas after a hiatus from visiting malls and shopping online I went a little H.A.M. For every one purchase I made for someone else I made at least one purchase for myself (key words, at least! Read between the lines I  realized I was insatiable and I could make up an excuse to purchase anything. To add insult to injury as I was driving back from the mall  my car began to sputter  and I had a moment of clarity. I want a new car, to travel to South Africa (after seeing the movie Mandela it is a MUST) and all sorts of other things that require money but I have not made these things possible because (among other reasons)  I buy all these "trinkets". Earrings, necklaces, sweaters, skirts, boots, boots, boots, (you get my point).  So, this year (well starting January 6th) I am challenging myself to not buy any new clothes for the next six months. I will only wear whats in my closet with one exception Carnival (come on guys... if you have been to carnival you know you can not go there with a bag full of old clothes... call me whatever you's true! )

Now, I know this is not a REVOLUTIONARY idea.  If you Google "no new clothes" hundreds of pages will come up dedicated to this very topic. However this idea is NEW to ME.  I envision it to be a lesson in discipline, a way to save a few pennies, and a chance to reflect on my own personal values.

Day 1's outfit.... as soon as I figure out how to take full length pics of my outfits this will make more sense....promise! 

On a side note...I love this necklace....
So...who is ready to join me on this journey?

Monday, January 6, 2014

2014...a year for reflection, growth, prosperity, and of course CARNIVAL!

Hey peeps!

I know it has been forever and I honestly had to think long and hard about making these key strokes but in the end I decided that was important for me to at least TRY to immerse myself into the world of blogging, AGAIN. What set me back? Fear. Doubt. Distractions.  Despite these feelings I have decided to jump back in the deep end. . And yes, the beginning of a new year is a cliche time to start this whole journey again, but if this isn't a motivating time of year then I do not know when is.....

Let's DO it!!! ; D
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