Natural Hair Product Wish List

These are just a few products that I think will be beneficial for my hair. Some of them are items that I’ve been aware of but just never tried because of availability and/or price. Others are things that I recently been introduced to. I look forward to actually purchasing them, trying them out, and sharing my experience in the future.

  1. Kinky Curly Line (especially the Kinky Curly Custard)

    I’ve known people that swear by these products. The two main items I hear about the most are the “Knot Today” leave in conditioner, and the Kinky Curly Custard. I typically try not to by into marketing of “black natural hair” product. I by items that are affordable and don’t have harsh ingredients. The only actual beauty brand products a buy are shampoo, conditioner, and sometime of curl cream. Everything else I make with a mixture of ingredients. Natural hair products are more accessible now than every before. So, I may try to catch a sale and get me some.

  2. SLAPS Satin-Lined Cap

    This is seems like a must have item for any naturalista. I can wear it stand alone for a stylish look or under other hats to protect my hair from damage. It will also keep my hair an styles protected at night.

  3. Satin Pillow Case

    This is not some brand new invention that has been hidden from me all these years. I just have to remember to pick one up the next time I’m in a department store. I need this for nights when I just plop myself in bed without doing any of my nightly routines. At least I can reduce damage from friction with the fabric fibers.

  4. Flexi Rods and/ or Perm Rods

    I used thick flexi rods when my hair was relaxed, but its been years, and I know the results will be different. I’ve seen results from both that look good. Just like the satin pillow case its another item I just have to snag the next time I hit the beauty supply store. I will have to get A LOT because I have a bunch of thick hair. I know plenty of naturals say this, but mine is on another level.

  5. Straightening Brush

    I’m not super enthusiastic about getting one of these. But I am slightly interested. I imagine the results will be similar to the original InStyler. I was never able to just use it on wet, damp, or tangled hair and get a sleek look. I did use it on my hair after it was straightened professionally to do touch ups if my hair got puffy, and I liked those results better than a flat iron. I probably won’t buy this, but if I now someone that has one, maybe I’ll borrow theirs.

  6. Hooded Dryer

    This is a product that a disparately want and need. I am an advocate of putting as little heat on my hair as possibly. But when I want to do a twist, braid, or roller set, I would like the option to do it one morning or evening and be ready to go. Versus having to do it 2 days in advance, or partially blow drying my hair for it to be dried within one evening. Once again the thickness of my hair is out of this world so on night of air drying is never enough no matter how early in the evening I do it. I’ve considered getting a smaller bonnet dryer, but have heard mixed reviews. I may still try it out over a large hooded dryer.

These are some products that I’ll be getting in the near future. Please share your thoughts if you have experience with any of these.

 

Vegan Mac & Cheese

I am not a vegan, but I do try to eat a plant based diet most of the time. I highlighted some of my diet ideals in 7 Reasons I Became a “Flexi” Vegan. mncAs I am allergic to dairy, eggs, and wheat/gluten, Macaroni and cheese is pretty much off limits for me. I’ve had to become very creative with my cooking. I have not become creative enough to make or invest in gluten free pasta.  I often ignore my mild allergies if becomes very inconvenient to adhere to them. I have made this same cheese sauce with spaghetti squash or zoodles making it gluten free. This particular recipe I made for my Vegan bestie as a Christmas gift. She said it was really good and it didn’t taste vegan. I ate some and it was good; although not as good as good ol’ fashioned macaroni and cheese. I think it was a little heavy on the garlic and cayenne pepper. You may notice from some of my other recipes that I don’t include measurements, and specifics about cooking time. That’s because unless I’m baking something I’ve never tried I don’t use them. Some of the things I cook I’ve just made up based on other recipes I’ve seen and what I think will work. My friend enjoyed the recipe though, or she just lied because she is too nice to tell me that my gift for her was nasty. Here is my simple recipe I used for vegan mac & cheese .

Ingredients: cashew milk, vegan butter, sweet potato, garlic power, onion power, salt, pepper, turmeric, mustard power, cayenne pepper, elbow macaroni noodles, bread crumbs, dried parsley.

Directions:

  1. Boil pasta until it is tender with a slight bite ( about 10 minutes)
  2. Once done, drain and set to the side.
  3. Cook sweet potato in microwave for about 5 minutes.
  4. Put sweet potato in a high powered blinder (i used a ninja) or food processor.
  5. Add cashew milk, vegan butter, and spices except parsley (use sparingly so you can add more if needed for desired smoothness and flavor)
  6. Blend ingredients until desired taste and texture is achieved
  7. Rub a baking dish with oil of your choice (I used olive)
  8. Add cooked pasta and prepared sauce
  9. In a small bowl melt some vegan butter and mix with bread crumbs
  10. Sprinkle bread crumbs on top of pasta and cheese sauce.
  11. Sprinkle with parsley.
  12. Bake in oven on 400 until bubbly and golden brown.

I hope you enjoy!

Healthy Nappy Nerdy Mommy: Year 2016 in Review

All over social media there have been post and memes about how horrible 2016 has been. As I prepare for a new year of bettering myself, I thought it would be beneficial to focus on the positivity of 2016. New Year’s Eve is the perfect opportunity to fill in gaps and review some of the HEALTHY.NERDY.NAPPY.MOMMY awesomeness.

January

Being that this is pretty much National Diet Month,  I was busy trying different products and recipes to accumulate myself to my new lifestyle. I did a clean eating and yoga challenge, and we started officially trying to potty train my 18 month old son. Now I know it was too early, and we didn’t stick to it well. But it gave me a good chance to get some bare bottom photos as blackmail when he gets older.

yoga
Yoga Challenge

February

For Valentine’s Day my husband and I enjoyed a movie date to see “Deadpool”. It was a breath of fresh air to see this rated “R”, as a true “Deadpool” movie would have to be. We also enjoyed playing some “Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4”. My son transitioned from stay at home dad care, to daycare. It was hard on us all, some of this I later shared in “Peez, Ana” . But it was also for the best.

March

March opened with Spirit Week at my school, and as the Student Council adviser I had to go all out with a X-men’s Storm costume. It wasn’t the best (couldn’t find the right wig), but good enough for the crowd I was serving. My students were calling me “Thunder Girl”, they didn’t even know my character’s name. It was my son’s 2nd birthday on the 14th so we planned a “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs” party, complete with meatball sub buffet. As he was a big boy now he also got a small “Jake the Pirate” party with cupcakes and juice at daycare. For the 3rd birthday we just might leave it at treats at daycare and family dinner.

storm
“Thundergirl” aka “Storm”

April

This month was the grand debut of HEALTHY.NAPPY.NERDY.MOMMY! During Spring Break we did indoor camping in our little apartment living room. Complete with a fort, s’mores, kababs, and baked beans.It was also my husband’s birthday which and our dating anniversary that marked 9 wonderful years being together. We celebrated with a family party at his cousin’s, complete with Baskin Robin ice cream cake, a game stop gift card, his favorite Snickers &  Bacon- Cheddar gourmet popcorn, and a gamer screen t-shirt. His celebrations tend to be more family inclusive while mine are typically dates with just the 2 of us giving me a mommy break.

May

We celebrated Mother’s Day with yet another movie date highlighted in (Marvel)ous Mother’s Day. I cannot express how much I enjoyed “Captain America: Civil War”. This month I officially became a “Flexi-Vegan” and I was experimenting with vegan and allergen free recipes.

June

This is one of my favorite months because it marks the end of the school year and time for a short break. I always teach summer school, but in June I get a couple weeks off before I have to crack back at it. We enjoyed a small beach trip with my parents. It was also the month a tried my first Cross Fit class, and started watching the original “Dragon Ball” series for the first time.

cross-fit

July

The biggest thing that happened in July was the introduction of Pokemon Go. I was so excited about this game, but that excitement quickly fizzled and I don’t even have the app downloaded on my phone anymore, but they were good times while they lasted. I’m interested to see what the craze will be this year. July was capped by seeing Kakashi’s face in the latest episode of “Naturo: Shippuden”

flareon
My first Eevee evolution

August

I don’t know which is a bigger deal my wedding anniversary or Otakon. I don’t think my husband would even be mad at it. I talked about our excitement for Otakon in 6 Anticipated Events for a Nerdy Mom and fully anticipated doing a full post on it, but that never happened. So this is your mini overview of it. It was bitter sweet, as this was the last year it would be in Baltimore, MD. But I am excited for the new location. Otakon 2017 WILL have a post, maybe even an entire page dedicated to its greatness. In preparation for this trip and the start of a new school year, I got crochets for the first time. Its a great protective style, and I’ll never set for 10 hours getting individual sengalese twist or box braids on this thick head of hair again. Oh, yeah my son came back from staying with my parents while we were at Otakon potty trained! He still needed the pull up for night and doesn’t poop until then.

otakon
My seneglese twist crochets and excited for Otakon grin!

September

I entertained the ideas of starting a garden. I starting some romaine, but I didn’t follow through. For this spring though, I plan on starting both an indoor and patio garden for herbs, fruits, and veggies. Look forward to pictures, how to’s, and testimonials in the near future. I also developed an addiction to the online make up line Colourpop. I’d never been a make up girl before, but I found myself needing something to step it up a notch. Lipstick for me is the easy answer (I love Matte). Just the lipstick, some eyeliner, mascara, and maybe BB cream and I’m good to go. From my first purchase in August to now, all of my profile pictures feature me in one of their shades.

romaine
Some romaine lettuce sprouting up.

October

In the last week of October I went on my first cruise! I had so much fun and relaxed with friends and family. I became known as “the girl that ate all the weird food” because at dinner I always tried the most exotic thing on the menu. Why would I pay all that money for something I can eat any day? We enjoyed the dinners and events on the ship as well as the beach and sights of Nassau, Bahamas. I might save big for a Disney cruise in the future, I’ve heard, while expensive, they are the best. Disney should do a line dedicated to Marvel or Star Wars since they are taking over everything. Universal Studios could take on a Harry Potter cruise as well.

duck
Smoked duck with oranges and Thai rice noodle salad

November

In November my son woke up early in the morning vomiting several times within two weeks of each other. I took him to the doctor the second time, and they said it was probably to different viruses. After leaving the doctor I started thinking he might have food allergies like me. Both times he never had a fever or acted sick, it was just vomit or diarrhea. It could be allergies or an intolerance at the least. I took him off dairy for a week, but didn’t really notice a change. After he returned to his normal diet he didn’t have anymore stomach issues, so maybe it was just the stomach bug like the doctor said. We of course enjoyed Thanksgiving with family. I took an allergy pill, ate what I wanted, and hoped I wouldn’t end up in the ER with anaphylaxis.

December

The holidays are busy for everyone. We began this month by putting up our Marvel Christmas tree. I’d seen some superhero, Harry Potter, and Star War variations. Ours was simple we just added some superhero masks we had from our wedding photo booth along with our normal red and gold decorations. My birthday was the 17th. We had a quiet, childless, evening at home watching some Luke Cage on Netflix, with carry out sushi, and wine. I found out two days after my birthday that I won “Teacher of the Year” at my school. I had a great Christmas as it was the first our son was really excited and understood what was going on.  We later celebrated my birthday  and the life of Carrie Fisher by finally watching “Star Wars: Rogue One” and I realized first hand that The Force is with Me. My husband and I’s catch phrase has become “the rebellion was built on Hope.”

christmas-tree
Our (Marvel)ous Christmas Tree

I hope you’ve enjoyed my year in a glimpse. I look forward to sharing more with you in 2017, Happy New Year’s to you and yours.

The Force is with Me

*Spoiler Alert: For anyone who hasn’t seen Star Wars: Rogue One*28661518704_3696355db9

Yesterday, December 27th, 2016 Carrie Fisher, the actress who plays Princess Laia in the Star Wars movies passed. It was also the day that I finally saw Rogue One, although I did not plan it out that way. I am not writing this necessarily as a movie review, although I will be giving my overall opinion of it. This is my telling of how the universe or “The Force” if you will, led me to finally seeing this blockbuster movie.

My birthday was the 17th of this month and our original plan was to see either “Fantastic Beast and Where to Find Them” (that’s a long title) or “Star Wars: Rogue One”. My birthday is typically near the release of some awesome Sci-Fi/Fantasy film and it has kind of become a tradition to go to the movies to celebrate. Last year we saw “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” and previous years we saw the Hobbit trilogy movies. In the pre-baby days we went night of my birthday, whether I had to work or not. Now we have to schedule it on a weekend and if we can find a baby sitter. This year I had a friend’s party to attend and circumstances did not allow me to go to the movies on my birthday, even though it was actually on a Saturday this year. We just put it on the back burner and decided we would go when the opportunity presented itself again.

Fast forward to December 27th. We planned to meet up with family and go out to eat. Each year my father asks for one thing for Christmas, which is to go out to a restaurant with his daughters and grandchildren. My parents also wanted to keep our son a little longer over the break. So when we parted ways it was just my husband and I.  It seemed that the opportunity to finally go to the movies had presented itself again. We were low a cash post-holidays, but we remembered we had a gift card for Regal Cinemas on stand by. We did not have that theater where we live, but the city we met in for dinner did.

On the way I was still trying to decide which I wanted to see “Fantastic Beast” or “Rogue One”? I had heard equally positive reviews from friends for both. I have equal love for both franchises so this tough for me. I knew “Fantastic Beast” had been out longer and wouldn’t be in theaters for much longer. But I also didn’t know if I’d have another chance to see “Rogue One” before it was removed. I was told both were movie theater worthy, so I decided to just go and decide when I got there. When we got to the box office it was about 4:30 pm. There was only an 11:00 showing of “Fantastic Beast” (not even sure if it was pm or am) and a 5:00 showing of “Rogue One”. The universe had decided for me. It was even matinee so the gift certificate covered the cost of the tickets, with us only having to spend a couple dollars to get popcorn and soda. Although we had just eating, popcorn and a Coca-Cola are a must for us at the movies.  We were ready, just us, to finally enjoy my birthday movie date.

Even though I had been trying to decide which movie I wanted to see, surprisingly, I did not search the internet for reviews. Maybe the business of the holidays kept me from it. But I didn’t know much about the movie going in. Before I talked to others, I wasn’t that excited about it because I thought it was going to be some rinky-dink spin off.  Even in talking to friends they didn’t reveal much about the movie itself. I was wrong, it was not just a rinky-dink spin off. The one thing that caught my eye about the movie when I was trying to make my decision, was the fact that Donnie Yen, was in it. I loved him in the IP Man movies and knew that he would be great in “Star Wars”. There is always a snarky droid in the movies, in this case it was K-2S0. I couldn’t help but envision Sheldon Cooper, from “Big Band Theory” as he spoke. I was also excited to see Forest Whitaker in this movie. When the movie first started I was wondering where in the cinematic timeline did this movie fall. Was it after or before the events of “The Force Awakens”? Or maybe somewhere in between? It became evident as the movie continued that it was set in between the prequel trilogy and the original. When it started to be clear to me a tried asking my husband, but he only trolled me saying it wasn’t as revenge for talking to him during the movie. It was somewhat of a bridge that led directly to the events of “Episode I: A New Hope”. The epic battle scene on the beach seemed like what D-Day on the beach of Normandy might have been like. The most devastating part was to see Chirrut Imwe die. I just new IP Man would survive, at least. The biggest thrill of the movie was the appearance of Darth Vader, voiced by the original James Earl Jones, and to see him welding his lightsaber annihilating everyone in his path to grasp hold of the death star plans.

Hope was a theme that kept coming up in this movie. I believe it was done intentionally to create that connection to Episode I. But everybody gave everything in this movie, for hope. There could be no survivors if the events of the next movie in the timeline were to make any sense. The last scenes showed everyone grasping at straws to try to make the plan work. It was like watching dominoes, each fall giving way to another step. At the very end the plans narrowly escaped Darth Vader and reached Princess Laia, partially digitally portrayed by the ,on this day, deceased Carrie Fisher. It was at that moment that I realized “The Force is with me and I am one with the Force.”

My 5 Steps for Potty Training Progress

In Questions about potty training I was just starting trying to get some answers for the best way to approach potty training my 2 year old son. I have tried some things that didn’t quite work out and now am doing some new things. Notice in the title of this blog I said “progress” not “success”. We have been on this potty training road for 4 months with little to show, but I’ve made some changes to our approach and we have seen improvement in the past couple of weeks.

1. Rewards

The first thing we added was a reward system, in which he got a sticker for every time he uses the potty, asks to sit on the potty, and stays dry. The sticker itself is a reward, but for every 10 stickers he gets he can choose a small toy from a prize box. We he fills the entire chart he can choose from reward cards the include: ice cream/frozen trip, McDonald’s trip, park, using mommy/daddy’s phone, computer, tablet, or game system, a bigger $5-10 toy, or going to the pool. Potty Time was a section on a bigger behavior chart, but we decided to separate it and make the rate in which he got prizes different because he was getting overwhelmingly more stickers for potty related tasks versus the others. Some have warned against using a reward system, but it has been working for us. And there are rewards for some things in life so why not introduce working hard to earn things early on.

2. Cold-Turkey

I tried going turkey as in him wearing nothing on his bottom and it resulted in pees and poops all over the house. Then I started using pull ups. It was a big mistake to use them, at least for as long as I did. So we are going “semi” cold-turkey. For now he is wearing underwear while he is at home. When we are going out it public or daycare he wears pull ups. If we are going to a friend or family members house he will wear underwear and I bring the potty cover and a few changes of underwear and clothes. He will do this until the end of the month, then I’m letting his daycare teacher know he will not be wearing pull ups any more. We will keep them for night time a little longer, I’m not ready for those struggles yet. But this aspect was all me being prepared to deal with the inconvenience. I am ready to attack this thing head on now.

3. Characters

The thriftster in me was buying the generic hanes or fruit of the loom patterned underwear, but I saw much better results when I bought the more expensive underwear with characters he loves like Paw Patrol, Minons, Spongebob, Batman, and Ninja Turtles. But they cost SOOOO much, I still struggle with it at the register. There are sales now for back to school and he is in a boys 4 now so I’ll rack up while I can. The first day I put on a pair of character underwear he stayed dry. This hasn’t been the case everyday, but he has more dry day with them. So for now I will sacrifice a few dollars to save tons in diaper cost.

4. Timing

He is able to tell me he has to potty, but I cannot rely on that alone. There are 4 main times I automatically set him on the potty; before sleeping, after sleeping, returning home from daycare or going out, and after eating and/or drinking. At those times I sit him there for no more than 15 minutes. If he goes I will sit him down every 20 minutes or if he asks, if not I try again in 10 minutes. If he has an accident I sit him down every 10 minutes.

5. Talking

I feel like I am constantly repeating “If you have to pee pee go in the potty”, then it gets condensed to “pee pee in the potty”, and then its just “pee pee potty”. Every 5 minutes I’m asking and/or telling him “do you have to pee?” or “tell me if to have to pee.” I just want to engrave the concept that he needs to use the potty, not his underwear, or the floor. For some reason if I ask him where he is supposed to pee he will never respond and say “potty”, but if I ask him in a yes or no question like “are you supposed to pee in the potty?” he will say “yes”. I’m not sure if that has something to do with his cognitive development or if there’s some disconnect and its the reason he doesn’t fully get it. He seems to do better after he’s had an accident and his daddy talks to him in a very stern voice and tells him he’s disappointed and that he needs to try harder. Usually after that he stays dry. Either way we will continue to have these conversations until it finally clicks.

So these are some of the changes we have made within the past couple weeks to see progress and this horrible process. Why can’t humans be like cats and just know what to do? Things like night time training, and standing up to pee are on the back burner for right now. I’m not even too stressed about number 2’s since he doesn’t do those as often. We just need to get the main peeing under control then we will focus on the rest. Has anyone else had these experiences? What worked or didn’t work for you while potty training?

Two Way Dinners

So as you may have noticed in my previous post my diet is a little vegan, mixed with a little paleo. I basically try to eat a plant based paleo diet. It is very difficult for me at times, but I do it because I feel it is the healthiest option. That being said my son and husband don’t always see it the same way. I am trying to be healthy and lose weight. They don’t have the same goals or ideals, so I don’t force my choices on them. As the main cook in the house I have to adjust to be agreeable with everyone’s dietary choices. My son is 2 and a picky eater. I have to find a balance of creating meals with foods that are good for him and he likes, not including junk. My husband is a BIG man, he does not eat “rabbit food” as I’ve been told I eat by colleagues. Having a healthy family is very important for me, but it takes compromise. I usually end up cooking two versions of meals. One to fit my dietary needs and restrictions and one that my family will actually eat. My goals for my family are less fast food and processed foods, as well as more fruits and especially vegetables. I will fry foods for them from time to time, usually a weekend meal. They still eat grains like bread, rice and pasta, but they are whole grain. They also typically eat meat with every meal, while I restrict my meat to once a day, usually dinner. Here are a few of my “2 way dinners”.

Hamburger Helper

I make a homemade hamburger helper with ground turkey, whole wheat pasta, and a sauce from real milk and cheese, not whatever powdery substance comes in the box. I got the recipe from Pinterest, and honestly its just as easy and quick as the boxed version. My version is made with squash or zucchini noodles made with a vegetti, a vegan cheese sauce, and ground turkey. I mix some of the vegan cheese sauce with my sons because he rarely eats the vegetables that are put on his plate so I hide it whenever I can.  With this dinner a include a vegetable side like broccoli, asparagus, green beans, or salad. I never tell my husband that its homemade, but he looks up and asks “is this real hamburger helper?” I say, “of course”. He follows up with “did you make it from the box?”, and I say “no, is it nasty?”, He says “no, but I can tell its different.” He continues to eat, and I shrug my shoulders and say “your the only husband in the world that complains about scratch made meals.”

hamburger helper
There’s vs Mine

Tacos/Tex Mex

Whenever I make tacos, burritos, enchiladas, or quesadillas, my version ends up being some type of taco bowl or salad. I change the base to keep things varied, like it might be a salad with whatever fillings they had topping lettuce minus the sour cream and cheese. I may do a burrito bowl substituting quinoa for rice or a may roast some sweet potatoes.

sweet potatoe taco bowl
Sweet Potato enchilada skillet bowl

Asian Nights

I tried making potstickers once and my husband loved them. I knew I couldn’t take them away from our Asian night dinner line up. So I typically eat a meatball made from the chicken or turkey filling inside the potstickers. I make a sauce from soy sauce, honey, ginger, garlic, and sriracha. They dip the potstickers in a drizzle it on top my meatballs. We both have stir fried vegetables, I usually have a bigger serving. They have fried brown rice.

Another meal in the Asian dinner lineup are various Chinese dishes like orange, sesame, sweet and sour chicken, and Mongolian beef. I fry theirs in a cornstarch and egg batter with stir fried vegetables,and fried brown rice. I bake my chunks of meat in the oven and top with the same sauce with vegetables and no rice.

asian meatballs
Asian Meatball Bowl

So with just a few tweaks and some compromise, everybody can get what they want and need out of dinner. I had adapted some of our favorite restaurant and packaged meals to be healthier and still had my more drastic dietary changes. That’s what we call, in education, differentiation. Does anybody else tailor meals for their families or I am just a push over? Also, message me if you would like any of the featured recipes in detail.

 

4 Reasons I’m Loving Pokemon Go

Aside from the recent tragedies, social media is all abuzz about Pokemon Go. The beta dropped on July 6th and it was an instant hit. My husband told me about the game and I let it pass through my mind like most of his rants and excitement about up coming games. It didn’t register actually what the game really was. On the release day when he downloaded it and said, “look I caught a Pikachu”. Time paused, and I thought “wait a minute, what?”. He showed me the Pokemon character sitting right in out living room and I instantly downloaded it, to experience the fun for myself. Here are the top 4 things I’ve gotten out out the ever so popular fad.

1. Increased Physical Activity

There is a meme currently circulating that states “Pokemon Go has done more for childhood obesity in the past two days, than Michelle Obama has done in 8 years.” Please don’t get me on that soapbox, but yes Pokemon Go gets you up and moving. When you see that symbol that says a Evee is 300 years away, it doesn’t take much for you to jump up an go after it. You travel through neighborhoods and parks going from Pokestop, to Pokestop to gather pokeballs, potions, and eggs, and ect.  Mind you, its not vigorous physical

pidgey
A Pidgeot on my window shield!

activity for the most part, but its better than nothing. Its been great for me because during the summer, even while teacher summer school I am up walking around only a fraction of what I usually do on a typical school day. Since my everyday calorie burn has decreased it had become difficult for me to lose weight even with proper eating habits and exercise. So the extra steps that I’ve been taken looking for Pokemon will do my body good.

2. Bringing Gaming to the Real World

Pokemon Go is essentially the opposite of virtual reality. Instead of bringing you into the gaming world, its brings the game into the real word. You are actually embarking on a Pokemon adventure. You can choose to remain within your neighborhood, or venture out into your community and even the world period. There are water  Pokemon available around bodies of water, and common Pokemon like Pidgey, Rattata, and Weedle are found around are home. You have to travel to places that are verified as Pokestops to get supplies and go to gyms to fight your Pokemon. It is like living the game and I’m loving it. You could literally get a backpack and become Ash Katchum.

3. Creates family bonding

We have created a routine of everyday after I get off work, my husband comes with me to pick up our son from daycare and we go to a nearby park that has an abundance of pokestops and gyms. We walk together and stop and each pokestop, my husband beat gyms, and our son enjoys walking and running through the park. It is a historical park so my two year old looks at the forts and historic buildings in amazement. He actually said today that it was “the best day ever”, and that’s just from walking around the park. We also witness other families and couples playing Pokemon as well. This could replace T.V., video games, and social media for some. Although people still have their phones in their faces, the interactive part make it a little different, and more personable. This only works if everybody’s into it thought. If its just the husband or children its pretty much just another video game.

4. Takes me back to my childhood

As a mentioned in My Kind of Nerd, I felt into nerdom late in life. Pokemon is different. I grew up watching he anime (although I had no idea it was called that at the time) and playing it on my Game Boy pocket and pocket color. My sister had the blue verson and I had red. She also chose Squirtle first and I Charmander. Just for nostalgia I picked Charmander first for this as well. I have seen some post on social media pretty much making fun of or blasting adults playing this game. And I’m thinking how is the different that people obsessing over the outcome of a basketball or football game. Or any other hobby or interest that is thought of as “adult”. I do a lot “adulting”, so this is just one more thing that helps me keep my sanity. This was especially good timing with all the turmoil that has been going on in the world. I can escape all of that and catch me some Pokemon.

Amazing though it may seem, it has not been all peaches and cream. My experience has been overall positive. Of course their are serious problems with the server, but this is a beta with an enormous amount of traffic so that’s to be expected. Then there’s the “play to win aspect”. You can pay real money for money within the game or earn it. But it is very difficult to earn it, especially where pokeballs are concerned. I’m not trying to create an extra expense to I’m just playing the best I can with what I can get for free, needless to say I won’t be able to be “the very best, like no one ever was.”  The game itself has some questionable aspects. The whole action of catching the Pokemon sometimes seems random, although that could just be my lack of skill.  From Girlie to Nerdy offers some great tips about how to be more successful catcing Pokemon and battling gyms. But you have to remember that its still just in the beta stages. There are also be reports of things like car accidents, robbery, and harassment due to the game.  I even read a post about how Pokemon Go Could Be a Death Sentence for Black Men. Pretty much stating that black men could get in trouble to looking suspicious while travelling various neighborhoods looking for Pokemon. So even while I was playing it as an attempt to escape the realities of the world, they still have a way of finding me. People have to be better than this. Play the game responsibility and just to people have their fun. I sure have.

Return of the Healthy, Nappy, Nerdy, Mommy!

Its been a while since my last post, a month to be exact. It all snowballed from one busy, lousy, tiresome, week. But I am back now to give the people what they want, or maybe what they don’t want. This is an overall update about what’s been happening and what is to come for this healthy, nappy, nerdy, mommy.

Healthy

I pretty much been doing the same song and dance. I’m still trying to get back into the groove of healthy eating and consistent exercise. My biggest weight loss since having my son had been 51 pounds, and I’m still 15 pounds from that not to mention my goals of losing another 20 after that, so I’m at 40 pounds I want to lose. I already mentioned in my previous post 7 Reasons I Became a “Flexi” Vegan that I am exploring veganism as a healthier option. I’m not hard core with it. I typically eat meat with dinner and try to be vegan for the rest of the day. I am also incorporating some “paleoism”. There is just so much information out their about what is the healthiest diet to have. And when I say diet I am referring to an overall lifestyle not how you eat for a couple weeks to lose some weight then gain it right back. I researched some about eating for your blood type, which interestingly enough is pretty much paleo for me being that wheat, dairy, and beans would be no, no’s for my type O blood. But there were some other things like mushrooms for example that I’m just not giving up. But it was also a little scary because it went along with my food allergies. As far as exercise, I’ve tried a free week of Cross Fit and I’m hooked. During the summer I’ll go to the free community day on Saturday until the school year starts and I have the funds to become a member. Bottom line, the workout at home thing does not work for me. I need a gym or facility to attend in order to hold myself accountable. For the rest of the summer, though, I am not stepping on a scale or entering my calories into anybody’s calorie counting app. I am just going to eat clean and get some kind of physical activity everyday and see where that gets me.

Nappy

The summer time is always good for my hair. I have more time and therefore keep up with my regimen better. I’ve pretty much been able to keep up with my washes every week, to 2 weeks depending on if I have a protective style or not. I love the summer because I can do wash and go’s. I don’t have to wake up early for work (until summer school) and the weather is nice and warm so it fine if its still wet. This past week I went to the beach with my parents and have my mom put some corn rows (NOT BOXER BRAIDS, but that’s a whole post of its own) with added hair. I have taken them out to wear a couple days wavy until I wash this weekend.  It is my hope to get some crochets at some point. I’m not sure if a want twist, braids, or curls, but I know a want to lob (long bob). Until then I will continue with my own regimen.

Nerdy

We finished “Hunter x Hunter” which I really enjoyed. The anime was completely different in the end than it was in the beginning. Each season was like a different anime with the same characters. I do feel like it was ended very quickly and I hope that the last episode I saw wasn’t the last episode they will ever make, but I will give my complete review in another post.

Now in anime we have began the one that seemingly started it all “Dragon Ball”. I cannot watch an episode of an anime without my husband saying “they got that from Dragon Ball Z” or “that was so Goku”. I am starting from the beginning of “Dragon Ball” to get all the back story before watching (according to my husband) that greatest “Dragon Ball Z”. And I must say that I do see parallels between Goku and many anime heroes of today.

In a 6 Anticipated Events for a Nerdy Mom I included some things that I was looking forward to, a lot of them occurring this summer. One event was seeing “X-Men: Apocalypse”. I’m just going to ask that we all take a moment of silence for this movie…….(and begin rant) I had such high hopes, I could have been so great. I saw it a few weeks ago and since it was such a disappointment for me and its been a while I’m just going to say what I have to say now and leave it at that. This was supposed to be the best X-men movie to date. Apocalypse is their main big villain. First, the actors in the film were horrible and the characters were weak. Everybody in that last fight was just getting their ass beat until out of nowhere Jean Gray said “oh yeah I can use the phoenix force” and obliterated him. They did not build on any of the characters they added, except for Magneto, who’s character has been giving plenty of background. We get it, he gets angry, and want to destroy humans for how they mistreat mutants. Storm was the biggest disappointment for me, because she’s my favorite and she didn’t do anything. If they do another movie like this they may as well give the X-men the Disney so they can work with Marvel and the Avengers, but no way Alexandra Shipp’s Storm would be able to stand with Chadwick Boseman’s Black Panther. Maybe I just set my hopes too high, but though it was just not the greatest. (rant ended)

The most anticipated event of our nerdy lives is fast approaching, Otakon! And we have to make big plans because after this year it will be moving from Baltimore to DC due to increased attendance. This year I have been battling whether or not I want to dabble in some cosplay. It wouldn’t be anything elaborate, but just a little to get into the spirit. Although some of my party has threatened to leave me if I hold them back with photos. Last year I truly experienced it because the first year I was 8 weeks pregnant and just slept in every panel and searched for food every chance I got. One day we will attend comic-con in San Diego, but for us this is as big as it gets right now. All year I’ve been loading up on my anime, outside of Naruto so I can be prepared. I need to practice an anime theme song to sing in the karaoke lounge. Look forward to pictures and an entire page dedicated to highlighting Otakon 2016.

Mommy

The terrible two’s are in full affect. And potty training is driving me crazy. But I am determined to make sure I set the foundation for a well behaved child and get him out of these damn diapers before the summer is over. We are taking the pull ups away. Right now he still wears them at daycare, but I’m only letting him do that for two weeks. After this next 3 day weekend (no summer school on Friday) I am letting his daycare teacher know he is wearing underwear and sending him with plenty of clothes and underwear to change into. I have created some charts. One is the reward positive behavior. There are categories of potty training, eating, and following directions. He earned stickers and different levels of prizes. I also have a behavior correction chart. This is more or less for my husband and I. He thinks I am to tough and I think he is too lenient. The chart takes the question out of it. When he misbehaves he moves to another color, the lower colors have punishments. I will provide a full detailed post outlining this plan.

That in a nutshell is what been happening in my life. The remainder of the summer holds many experiences; still juggling working summer school and trying to enjoy myself before the start of another school year and accomplish all the goals I set for myself and my family. Is anybody else having some similar experiences, or I am just alone in my crazy world?

Strawberry Avenger Waffles!

My family has 2 weekend breakfast traditions.

#1: On Saturdays we get fast food breakfast. This breakfast is McDonalds 90% of the time, but occasionally we will get Taco Bell or Bojangles. I know I am supposed to be all about healthy eating, but this is pretty much like my bargaining tool. Most other days and meals are homemade and healthy but Saturday morning breakfast is fast food. My husband is a fast food junky so I have to make compromises.

#2: I always make a homemade Sunday breakfast. It is typically just good old fashion food, so pretty much weekend breakfasts are our cheat meals. I like this because it reminds us both of home. For me it was the breakfast my mom cooked and for my husband, his grandmother. Its nice to recreate that family bound for ourselves. With breakfast, as with most meals we watch an episode, or 2, or 3, or more of what ever anime we are currently watching.

This past Sunday I used a Christmas gift that I finally got from my mother’s house, an Avengers waffle iron. I wanted to find a wonderful Paleo and Vegan recipe for the waffles, but alas, I could not find one that I could make with the ingredients I had on hand. In the future I’ll do some tinkering and figure something out. This time around I used the simple mix in the box and just added water according to the directions. I added some fresh chopped strawberries to the batter and followed the directions for using the waffle iron.  I drizzled the waffles with a little honey. Horrible I know, but the wonderful Avenger’s logo made me forget about all the additives, chemicals, and ingredients I actually allergic to. At least there were strawberries and turkey sausage.  FYI: This would make a great treat for Father’s Day coming up!

waffles

Natural Hair and Professionalism

Is natural hair professional? This is a question I’ve seen a lot online. I myself am on the fence about whether or not it is professional. Its more like I’m on the fence about whether or not particular natural styles are professional. Anybody that opposes someone in the workplace because of their choice to not put chemicals in their hair is discriminatory. But when you consider whether or not it is acceptable to where a “wild” afro, that makes things a little trickier. People have their opinions on both sides of this issue.

As I’ve stated many times before, I went natural during my senior year of college, which means I was still very new the the natural hair lifestyle when I was jumping out into the world, going on my first round of interviews, in search of a teaching position. The summer I graduated from college I went on 5 different interviews throughout the state. I straightened my hair for each and got no offers. I accepted a substitute teaching job in my hometown, and during that time went on another interview. For this interview I did not straighten my hair, but instead decided to wear it in a puff. I thought this was a happy medium. I put on a headband to hold down my edges and intended to take it off at the last minute, but I forgot and went into my interview with the elastic band around my head. Once I realized it  I was mortified, but thought surely if I was a good candidate the administrator wouldn’t be so vain as to turn me down because of an accessory. I did not receive a call back from that school. The next summer, one year after I graduated, I was feeling pretty down about myself because I still did not have a full time teaching position. One day I got a call from a principal at a school that I had not initiated any application process and asked if I wanted an interview. It was a little further from home than I wanted but I was desperate so I accepted. The first interview was over the phone, so no pressure there. They liked me so I had to do a interview in person. So the I faced the big dilemma once more, to straighten, or not to straighten. I decided not the straighten my hair. I washed my hair that morning so my curls would be moisturized and defined. I pushed the front of my hair back with a few pins. The interview went well, and the principal called and offered me a position an hour after the interview. I still wonder if it was my choice of hair style that prevented me from getting jobs before. Did I not get the jobs when my hair was straightened because I subconsciously wasn’t being true to myself? Did my accessory malfunction cost a position? Did my afro make me stand out in my final interview? I guess I will never knew the truth, but it caused me to never second guess myself and conform to what others think I should do as far as my hair and principles go. I decide what it acceptable for me, no one else.

I saw a post on Facebook, about a news broadcaster, that was told that as an anchor she couldn’t wear her afro, because it was distracting. Was this point valid? Or was it discrimination? Is it discrimination for some branches of the military to not allow women to wear braids, even though they are specific on men’s hairstyles as well? I do believe there is line between discrimination and appropriateness in different settings. I would not style my hair the same for an interview, just as I wouldn’t wear the same jewelry or attire as would in my everyday casual work dress. In some situations like in corporate business, what people wear is scrutinized constantly. So this wouldn’t be different as it pertains to natural hair. I guess people will have to do what I did. Test the waters, and see what you are comfortable with compromising.  If it is against your principle to conform to “the man” then do you. But if you want to take the easy way, I think the best option is to know your situation and what the norm is and play the cards your dealt with. Natural Hair is becoming way more mainstream, maybe within a few more years this won’t even be a conversation, it will just be the accepted norm.