Updated Hair Care Tips

March 31, 2018


When I realized that it has been almost a year since I updated you on my hair care routine I nearly flipped out!  So much has changed and you know what else has changed as a result? The health of my hair! Let's take this step by step, shall we?

1) Diet

What you eat is so important for the health of your hair, skin and entire body.  Health starts with what you put into your body.  Eating foods that are rich in vitamins and healthy fats is key.  A few things that I eat all the time are avocados (yay) salmon, eggs, spinach, yogurt etc.  Adding these into your daily diet will add shine to your hair and skin.  Read all about it here.

2) Sugar Bear Hair Vitamins

This is not sponsored! I read some amazing reviews on these vitamins and saw the before and afters and well I just had to try it for myself.  I ordered a 3 month supply, of which I have already completed two months.  I want to dedicate an entire post to my experience with sugar bear hair vitamins but I could NOT write an updated hair care post and not include these adorable, yummy gummies.  I noticed a difference in the health and shine of my hair two weeks in, not to mention the strength of my nails that would always break in between manicures.  While I know it wasn't the gummies alone, it definitely gave me the boost I needed to get back on the healthy hair road.  I have before pictures and when I am done with my 3 month supply I will take and share an after to see if there has been growth.  I am sure there has been but my hair feels thicker and more full and that is more important to me than the length.  Oh, one more thing before I started taking these gummies, my hair was falling out when I washed or combed it, a lot. It was alarming.  Since starting these gummies I have noticed a dramatic difference and that is probably why my hair feels thicker, it isn't thinning and falling out like it was before.  #winning

3) Washing

Here is the truth, I don't think anyone should wash their hair more than once a week.  I don't. You might disagree and thats fine.  This works for me, so I will rephrase that.  I don't need to wash my hair more than once a week, sometimes once every week and a half.  It doesn't really matter what shampoo I use, anything will do as long as its sulfate and alcohol free.  The more frequently I washed my hair the drier and lackluster it would become.  The chemicals found in shampoo are just so drying not to mention what they do to your hair color (I have caramel lowlights).  If you can get away with it, wait a little between washes.  See if you notice anything different.  That might mean styling your hair in more up hair styles or using a dry shampoo in between washes if you hair is oily or becomes limp, more about that below.  What do you have to loose? It is worth a shot! Oh and NEVER, EVER wash your hair with hot water.  Take a hot shower if you like but when washing out shampoo and conditioner turn the temp cooler.  This helps prevent scorching your wet and vulnerable locks.

3) Hair Mask Conditioner 

I still use Argan Oil Hair Mask that I was using in my last hair care update.  Although, because I wash my hair so infrequently I use the mask like a conditioner.  While in the shower, after I wash my hair, I apply the mask.  I concentrate and start with the ends and work my way up to where my hair hits the base of my neck.  I leave this hair mask on for about 5 minutes and wash it out with cool water.  This mask smells amazing and leaves my hair soft and tangle free.


4) To Towel or Not to Towel, that is the question

I don't towel dry my hair.  I will wring it out and pat the excess water off of my wet hair with the towel, but that is it.  Towel drying my hair leads to frizz, so I skip it.  I will pass a comb through my hair after I have been out of the shower for about 30 minutes, so my hair is drying up.  Combing your hair fresh out of the shower causes breakage. Just wait a good 20 minutes to pass a comb through any knots.  I let my hair completely air dry and I won't touch it until the morning when it is time to style it for the day.

5) Hot Tools

I love my Remington Curling Wand it is what I use to create a soft wavey look.  I have had this wand for over 2 years and it has not failed me yet.  I set it at 375 and before I even THINK about passing it through my hair I protect my hair with Tresemme Heat Tamer Spray.  This stuff really works!  I would burn my ends to a crisp once upon a time, not anymore.  My ends are healthier and shinier since using the spray before bringing it close to a hot tool!

6) Schedule Regular Visits to your Hair Salon

I realize a trip to the hair salon could be costly.  Not only financially but also we may find we have limited time to pamper ourselves.  I get that, I realize my boys are older and need less of my time, so I have more time to play with.  I know as moms, self care isn't always a priority but might I make an appeal and say that you are worth and can find at least 2 hours every 5 months. Am I right?  I can't stress enough how important it is to trim your hair and get a salon-quality deep conditioning treatment.  So do it, I dare you.  ðŸ’–
I trust my hair to Giancarlo's in the Bronx's Morris Park area.  Blertta is an expert colorist.  She is sweet and really listens to her clients and together you can come up with something that works for your hair type.

I hope this helps.  Please feel free to share some tips that have helped you grow healthy hair.  I LOVE hair tips!

Until next time loves.

LifeStyledbyErica


I, Tonya - Movie Review

March 27, 2018


👍👍👍out of 4👍

I, Tonya is based on US figure skater, Tonya Harding and the events that led to and followed the infamous assault on another US figure skater, Nancy Kerrigan in 1994.  I was interested in seeing this movie as soon as I heard one was made, because I remember this case so vividly.  I was 14 at the time and our house was divided on this case.  I was team Harding from the start, even at 14 and you can guess from there who's team everyone else was on.  Why? Because I knew there was more to the story and because everyone was being fed a steady diet of pure, venomous hate for this young 23 year old woman before we ever knew the story.  Tonya was not what you might consider, America's sweetheart, and I loved that about her!  She grew up poor, not poised or graceful when held up next to the other figure skaters and that made her more interesting, to me anyway.  Who wants to be like everyone else?  Did I mention she was the first to perform a triple axel, ever!  Yeah, no small feat.

Now to the movie.  The movie is based on actual interview footage with Tonya Harding and Jeff Gilloly years after the incident.  It has two outstanding actresses, Margot Robbie plays Tonya and Allison Janney plays Tonya's abusive, potty-mouth, "don't-give-a-damn" mother, Lavona Golden and she is damn good! I mean she did win an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress, in case you missed it.  Margot was nominated for Best Actress, the award went to Frances McDormand.  Tonya had an awful life, she went from an abusive mother to an abusive husband, Jeff Gilloly, both equally emotionally, physically and mentally abusive.  There is a scene when Tonya is maybe 11 years old, sitting at the kitchen table having a bowl of soup and her mother passes by and violently kicks the chair from under her and she falls to the ground.  Another scene where she is having an argument with her mother who has just called her the most vile things I have ever heard, her mother gets up to strike her, Tonya gets up to move away, her mother throws a plate right at her followed by a knife, which she lands right in her arm.  Her mother has just stabbed Tonya, a final last straw.  With no money, no education, no place to go she moves in with the devil she knows, cue Jeff who began his abuse while they were dating.  There are many scenes where she is blooded and bruised, one argument was over chocolate ice cream bars.  These are really hard scenes to watch and I think a trick used was to show Tonya "giving as good as she got" by fighting her husband back or chasing him out with a rifle or a stop in the middle of the scene where she speaks directly to the audience to break you out of what is going on in a comedic way. It is still jaw dropping and disturbing.  After some discussion with a friend about the film, I realize that having it played any other way just wouldn't work.  The audience wouldn't be able to watch as this woman suffers unspeakable abuse and I get that.  But at the same time, Tonya was victimized her entire life and then again by the media and the entire country.  Understanding how abuse works and the lifelong effects it can have on its survivors, it is unsettling and hard to find any humor.  

Tonya was not dealt a fair hand from the start and while some people might argue, who has? I think we all can agree some definitely have it worse than others, Tonya would fit this definition.  The cast was exceptional, the script was smart and cheeky, and the period costumes, hair and makeup were perfection.

Bottomline: The film seeks to give a different version of the events leading up to the infamous event that rocked the US in 1994 by allowing a story untold to unfold without prejudice before the audiences' eyes.  Do they hit the mark, you decide.  

Iceland Part 2: All You Need to Know.

March 21, 2018


I have just posted a visual diary of our trip, in case you missed it check it out here.  There were just too many photos to choose from so I put up all my favorites and saved the logistics and FAQ's for this post.  Lets dive in.  We stayed in Iceland February 19th -23rd.  I purchased the trip (airfare+hotel) via trivago as a Christmas gift for Michael, the total for 2, roundtrip was $1,500.  February can be tricky because of weather for both NY and Iceland, so it was a gamble and probably a big reason why the trip was so inexpensive.  I took the plunge and hoped for the best.  We had great weather leaving NY (no snowstorms), the weather in Iceland was a little trickier.  Here is what you need to know about what to pack, where to stay, what to do and everything in between.

What to Pack- Ladies, no joke this is not a trip to be cute for, at least not in February.  You need comfy warm clothes and walking boots that will keep your feet warm, dry and off your butt (think slippery ice everywhere), gloves and a hat.  The wind is so insane at times without a hat I would just get a headache.  Layer it up!  Think sweaters, thermals and jeans.  Tip- pack an extra pair of socks and gloves just in case your feet get wet or you loose a glove.  You don't want to be forced to pay top dollar for a pair of gloves, save that money for coffee! :)

The Flight- We flew Icelandic Air out of Newark airport on a Sunday afternoon.  This was probably the first time we flew out on an evening flight and I really enjoyed not having to wake up at 4 in the morning to catch a crack of the morning flight out of NY.  The flight from NY to Reykjavik is about 5 hours and 45 minutes, Iceland is 5 hours ahead so we landed in Iceland at 6am their time (that was brutal). Pro-Tip - I didn't realize it but when I purchased the package, the flight was Economy "lite" so that meant that I had to pay $60 per suitcase both ways which was crazy!  Beware when purchasing these package deals because sometimes the price is lower than you'd expect because you are going to get nickel and dimed all over the place.

Transportation to and from airport- We booked with Grey Line when we landed at the airport for our transportation to the hotel and back to the airport.  Total cost was about $80 for two, roundtrip. You can do it ahead of your flight but the price is pretty much the same.

Where We StayedHotel Reykjavik Centrum centrally located in Reykjavik historic city center, a 2 minute walk from City Hall (important pick up drop off for all excursions), shops, restaurants, night life etc.  It is clean, neat, reasonably priced, we loved it!  Highly recommend booking a room here.

Time Change  - Iceland is 5 hours ahead of NY time

Currency- Kronos is king in Iceland but you can use plastic to purchase everything! No need to use cash at all.  Breakdown, 1 krone is equal to .17 USD.

Weather - I am not joking when I say that Iceland felt like another planet.  The weather was really unpredictable and always windy.  Icelanders don't bother with umbrellas when it rains, what is the point?  No umbrella can withstand the winds.  On our walking trips around the city, it would rain, hail, snow with gusty winds and then the sun would come out and that was just in a half hour!

What We Did- Secret Lagoon Early Access + Golden Circle -https://www.local-iceland-tours.com/reykjavik-iceland/golden-circle-and-secret-lagoon_27604
This was an amazing and highly recommended excursion, it is an 8 hour trip with three stops.  The first was the Secret Lagoon which we loved.  It was a private little getaway that seemed to be family run.  We also saw the Golden Circle geyser and the Gullfoss waterfall, probably the most amazing site I have ever been blessed enough to witness.

Northern Lights Tour - https://www.local-iceland-tours.com/reykjavik-iceland/northern-lights--tour-iceland_29049
We booked this for our first night in case it wasn't visible we would be able to catch it again another night.  We did see it but it wasn't very luminous and it was rainy and SUPER windy! We drove out to the coast by a light house and saw a sliver of the northern lights that could have been mistaken for a cloud.  Funny story?? We saw the Northern Lights out of our airplane window on our trip back home. :)

Blue Lagoon-https://www.local-iceland-tours.com/reykjavik/the-blue-lagoon-direct_14673 
The blue lagoon has nearly 700K visitors a year, that is nearly 2k a day and counting.  We booked this excursion and were given the time of our visit.  Unfortunately we were scheduled for a 7:30PM visit, I realize it is a different experience at night but we really wanted a daytime appointment.  It worked out. We had a great time and slept like babies when we got back to the hotel.  Definitely more commercial than the Secret Lagoon which we REALLY loved.  The Blue Lagoon has become such a "must see" that developers are cashing in by expanding and charging a fee for everything including, lockers, towels, face mask, and a drink from the swim up bar.

What We Ate - Iceland isn't known for their cuisine, so we were hard pressed to find reasonably priced spots throughout our stay.  We did end up almost everyday at a Te and Kaffi, Iceland's answer to our Starbucks, only better (sorry Starbucks, lol).  Iceland is cold, windy, rainy, snowy, icy..all of those things so you are going to need to check in to thaw out and warm up.  Highly recommend this spot whenever you spot one.  We didn't eat three square meals a day, we would have coffee and croissant or breakfast sandwich, an energy bar while we were on the go and save our larger meal for dinner.  (Highly recommend you pack some snacks from home to save you a few kronos, thank me later).  If you want to splurge for dinner like we did our last night, check this place out, ROK.  Every dish was better than the last.  It is sort of a tapas restaurant so you will order a few dishes to share, do not leave without trying their risotto! Looking for some great ice cream and crepe? Please check Eldur, its AMAZING and we ate there three times!

Cost - I won't sugar coat it.  Iceland is pricey, everything is expensive! They are essentially an island where almost all of their goods are imported so the import taxes are crazy and passed on to the consumer.  In total, between the air, hotel, excursions, food, transportation + incidentals the 5 day trip cost about $4500.  Pretty pricey in our opinion compared to our other trips and the length of the stay.

Bottomline - We fell in love with Iceland, if you can make it, do it! It is worth the money and then some.  It was amazing.  Do it! GO!

I hope this answers most of your questions, please drop me a comment if there is something you want to know that I didn't cover.

In case you missed the visual diary check it out here.  Thanks for reading loves.

Until our next adventure!

LifeStyledbyErica


Iceland: A Visual Diary


Street Life: 


























Coffee, Food. Repeat.














Nature 

















XOXO

LifeStyledbyErica

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