Wednesday, June 6, 2012

From Poppies & Pencilshavings to Carmen's Canvas

I woke up one day last week with a strong desire to change the name of my blog to something more definitive, so I decided to let go of Poppies & Pencilshavings and have changed name of my blog to Carmen's Canvas.

I hope you'll stop by.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

On Doing a Master Cleanse

Yes, I completed a 10 day master cleanse. My reasons for doing it included continuing to clear up my skin (after a bout of break-outs in reaction to gluten), trying to control allergies, and going back to healthier eating habits. It was nice to give my digestive system a break. It was great to confirm that I will not die if I don't eat solid foods for more than one day.

I didn't experience any hunger - just cravings; for popcorn in particular. Since doing the Master Cleanse...

1. I continue to drink the lemonade here and there, because it actually isn't bad and because I still have a weakness for French Bread, I need a glass or two afterwards to clear me up. Yes, it's been helping.

2. I didn't eat meet for about a week after the cleanse. Just wanted to keep my body light. It was great and I will continue to take animal protein breaks.

3. I have decided that I will give my digestive system a break (fast) for one day out of the month. It can reduce your risk of heart disease by 39% - that's pretty significant! As a matter of fact, I think tomorrow will be my first day.


The day before starting your cleanse gather all the ingredients and supplies you will need.

Ingredients for 10 Days:
30 large lemons
64 fl oz organic Grade B maple syrup
4 oz sea salt (not iodized)
6 tsp/.5 oz cayenne pepper powder
10 herbal laxative tea bags
8 gallons purified water

Before bedtime drink your first cup of herbal laxative tea.

How to Brew a Cup of Tea for Maximum Benefit and Enjoyment:
Bring 8 oz (1 cup) of purified water to a boil
Pour water over a tea bag in a cup
Cover the cup with a small dish
Allow to steep 10-15 minutes
Gently squeeze the tea bag to release remaining extract

Start your first day (and the remaining 9 days thereafter) with a salt water flush.

Recipe for Daily Salt Water Flush:
32 oz (4 cups) of purified water with two(2) level tsp of sea salt

Daily Regimen for 10 Days:
Drink 32 oz (4 cups) of purified water with two level tsp of sea salt (you will need access to a bathroom within the hour)
Drink 6 to 12 glasses of the lemonade
Drink as much herbal mint tea and/or water as you wish throughout the day

Recipe for 1 Glass of Lemonade:
2 tbsp (1/2 of one lemon) freshly squeezed lemon/lime juice
2 tbsp organic Grade B maple syrup
1/10 tsp cayenne pepper or to taste (more)
8 oz (1 cup) glass warm/room temperature purified water

The last day of your cleanse, do not drink the herbal laxative tea at bedtime.

Post-Cleanse Day 1:
Drink several 8 oz glasses of orange juice throughout the day as desired.

Post-Cleanse Day 2:
Drink several 8 oz glasses of orange juice throughout the morning and early afternoon.
Have a homemade vegan vegetable soup for dinner.

Post-Cleanse Day 3:
Drink an 8oz glass of orange juice for breakfast.
Have a homemade vegan vegetable soup for lunch.
Have a vegan meal for dinner.

You may now resume to regular eating and start consuming mindfully for better health and beauty.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Roller Setting Curly Hair for Soft Bouncy Waves

Today I stopped by my local Sally Beauty Supply and walked out with an arsenal of velcro rollers and duckbill clips. Fall is just around the corner, so I am transitioning my hair regimen for the colder and drier months of autumn and winter. This past spring and summer I stuck to wash-and-go's (with a twist), so I have not applied any heat to my hair in months. Yay, me! Frankly, I just didn't have the time or desire to battle with humidity to protect heat-styled hair.

Soon enough the humidity and temperatures here in Florida will lower. So my theory is that less daily hair-washing will allow my scalp to produce its own natural oils and protect itself (and my hair) from the colder drier air. Shampooing washes out the hair's protective oils and I just don't like facing cold mornings with wet hair. So my styling method of choice for the season is roller setting, since my goal is to be as gentle as I can be with my ends. After assessing the condition of my hair (especially my ends), it can use a break from the daily washing.

Benefits of Roller Setting
Less direct heat on your locks. The less direct heat you apply to your hair, the less you alter the texture and elasticity of your hair, and the less damage to your ends.

Moisturized hair and scalp. Roller setting as opposed to the hair dryer or flat iron, allows your hair shaft and scalp to absorb some water and any conditioners you may have applied to your hair to do the roller set. Results - softer shinier hair.

Roller sets have staying power. Roller setting is one of the best ways to create styles that will hold much better and much longer than other methods. That means less touch ups during the lifespan of your style.

A hair-healthy choice. By not applying direct heat, you allow the hair to absorb some moisture while drying.  Roller sets promote hair strength, smoother ends, and shine better than any other heat-styling tools.

From Magnetic Rollers to Velcro Rollers
I have always used magnetic rollers; smooth plastic cylinders with holes to allow air to pass through to dry the hair. However, I'm giving velcro rollers a try because magnetic rollers are anything but. They will not keep my curls in place as I try to roll my hair. I have to use clips to keep the roller and hair in place while I try to move on to the next section of hair. And, I find myself readjusting throughout the whole rolling process because the curlers shift or slip while I'm working on another one.

Although roller setting takes practice for perfection, setting my hair with velcro rollers saved me lots of time and energy! Velcro rollers keep your hair in place while rolling curly hair, and the roller stays put on your head without the use of a clip. However, I strategically secured my rollers with duckbill clips just to keep the roots stretched for smoother results. With that said, the most important thing for me when heat styling my hair is smooth ends, and velcro rollers delivered!

Products & Tools for Roller Setting
Herbal Essences Anti-Frizz Shampoo
Herbal Essences Anti-Frizz Conditioner
Infusium 23 Leave In Treatment in a spray bottle (to keep the ends wet; as well as to smoothen and strengthen the ends)
16-20 velcro rollers (for maximum grip and a speedier process). For my hair length, I used large and medium-sized rollers due to my hair being layered.
16-20 duckbill clips (to further stretch the roots of the hair)
Fine tooth comb with a narrow tail (to smoothen hair and ends; to section the hair)
Hair dryer bonnet (to speed up drying time)
Electric hot straightening comb (if necessary, to further smoothen the roots and hairline)

Steps & Tips
1. Shampoo thoroughly to start with a squeaky clean blank slate of hair (and scalp). I used Herbal Essences Anti-Frizz shampoo.

2. Follow with Herbal Essences Anti-Frizz conditioner, detangle with a wide-tooth comb, leave the conditioner on for about five minutes, and rinse it out completely.

3. Part hair into 9-10 sections and secure with butterfly clips, leaving the hair soaking wet. This time I opted not to add anything to my hair other than spraying a conditioning treatment on my ends before rolling.

4. Start at the bottom so you can see what you are doing as you work through your head of hair.

5. Part the hair sections precisely and a little less than the width of your roller for the best results.

6. Comb hair thoroughly to remove any tangles and distribute the leave-in treatment.

7. Roll the hair over or under fairly tightly without placing tension on the scalp. Remember you're not stretching your scalp, just the roots of your hair.

8. Secure the duckbill clip inside the roller so that it is against the scalp to keep the roller in place.

9. For best results, your hair must be completely dry before unrolling the curlers. I sat under the dryer for about an hour. I then allowed my hair (and myself) to cool down for about 10-15 minutes. Cooled hair holds its style better because you allow the cuticle to seal itself before manipulating the hair further.

10. Start unrolling from the front and work your way to the back to keep the unrolled hair from getting snagged by the remaining velcro rollers.

11. When removing velcro curlers be sure to UNROLL them carefully and in the opposite direction in which it was rolled into. DO NOT PULL or your hair will get tangled in the roller.

12. Once you've unrolled all of your hair, an optional step, is to use your hot straightening comb to further smoothen the hairline and roots.

13. I don't put anything in my hair during the first 24 hours, unless I'm going out that day/night, in order to let my scalp produce its own oils. The next day I do spray in a bit of anti-humidity spray. I also hydrate my ends with rose water/leave-in conditioner and seal the ends with a combo of shea butter & extra virgin coconut oil. I smoothen my ends between my fingers until almost dry then roll with a velcro  roller and allow the ends to finish drying. Surprisingly this doesn't take long at all.

Yes, lil' one snuck into my pic :)

Soft and bouncy waves with super smooth ends!

If you want straighter results without using a flat iron, try a doobie (hair wrap).  Here's a great tutorial on wrapping your hair in a doobie.

You can keep your hair styled this way up to a week, if not longer. Of course, it all depends on your workout routine, high temperatures, etc. I look forward to perfecting my roller setting.

P.S. I did assess the condition of my hair and although I don't seem to have many split ends, my ends are dry. So, I think I started this new regimen just in time to give my ends a break from daily washing and give them some TLC.