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Hair Growth Secret… Revealed!

Since I posted this photo online:

one year comparison

Everyone has been asking, “OMG, your hair is so long, what is your secret?! I wish my hair grew like that!”

The truth is, for the LONGEST time, my hair was falling out and wouldn’t grow at all. After you give birth, that “luscious hair” you’re suppose to get during pregnancy (I got none of it) actually falls out. I read some where that it’s really dead hair that your follicles hold on to while pregnant, thus giving you the illusion that your hair is thick and shiny (this could be totally off base though).

So, what really helped my hair grow and made my body give up the need to shed like a german shepherd in the summer??

KETO DIET AND COLLAGEN.

When you become fat adapted, your hair grows. Because you are taking in more essential healthy fats, your hair follicles become healthier, your body is more energized and your hair grows.

Have you ever done a really low fat diet and your hair became brittle and dry? It’s because your body was lacking the nutrients it needs.

Aside from eating more fat, I noticed a HUGE difference in my hair once I started supplementing with Neocell Marine Collagen. Within a few days, I noticed my hair was softer, shinier and eventually, I noticed it really starting to grow!

marine-collagen

I use marine collagen because it has a higher amount of glycine in it. This promotes not only a youthful appearance, but also cognitive and digestive health. The extra shine to my hair was just the sprinkles on the cupcake! Collagen also promotes healthy joints and muscles.

I recommend it to all of my family, friends and clients!

Lately, I have been using 1 scoop of Vital Proteins Marine Collagen Peptides in my lemon water every day. It’s a great option if you would rather mix it in instead of swallow pills. It also has a higher amount of protein in it than the Neocell version. Vital Proteins also has to-go packs which are awesome for traveling!

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So there you have it, my secrets to healthier hair: higher intake of healthy fats and collagen! 

 

 

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Smile Brilliant Teeth Whitening Review

Package

Teeth, they’re always somewhat stained no matter what you do, am I right?!

I was stoked when Jessica from Smile Brilliant emailed me and asked if I would like to try their product. As a mom to a high needs baby who lives off coffee, I quickly replied HECK YEAH! 

The package comes with everything you need to start out: stuff to make your custom trays, whitening gel and desensitizing gel (which is really handy during the whitening process!).

The first thing you have to do is make your custom molds.

FormMaking

In layman’s words, basically, you just take the base and catalyst pastes, mix them together until you’re streak free, plop them evenly in the mold and press up into your gums. Easy as pie. 

Well, probably easier when you’re not trying to take a “I’m not looking at you awkwardly while pressing this paste into my mouth evenly” selfie anyway.

SettingForms

Pro tip – don’t pull out the mold too eagerly… otherwise…. you’ll spit all over yourself. Case in point below.

Spit

After you get your perfect molds, you send them back to Smile Brilliant in a pre-labeled package.

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A few days later, you get your custom trays straight from their labs! I was surprised how quickly I received my trays. I definitely couldn’t wait to start whitening!

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Unfortunately, I suffered quite a bit of sensitivity and even a little soreness in my gums after my second attempt at using the whitening gel and desensitizing gel per the instructions given with my box.

I tried a few variations on the process with the help & suggestions of Jessica at Smile Brilliant. (She was amazing – as well as all of their customer service agents!). I tried whitening every other day, using more of the desensitizing gel, as well as coconut oil on my gums to protect them. Nothing seemed to help much. I had to draw the line at giving up coffee or drinking it through a straw – a personal choice to stay sane in the mornings rather than have pearly whites. 

Luckily, Smile Brilliant has an amazing guarantee on your trays ($30 to replace if needed within 2 years) and a full money back guarantee if you aren’t satisfied within 45 days!

I would say, I was highly satisfied with Smile Brilliant as a company, but due to my sensitivity, I could not fully get the benefits of the product. I can say, I have seen many great transformation pictures on social media as well as their website and other blogs!

So, if you’re looking for a cool whitening system that is less abrasive to your teeth while still promising results, check them out!

 

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Itchy Scalp Remedy

I have always had a drier scalp with some flake-age every now and then. It wasn’t until after I gave birth to my son that my scalp flared up like crazy! Think lots of flakes, dry scalp, sore spots and even burning. OUCH!

I tried everything…. natural shampoos like Just Natural Itchy Scalp shampoo and conditioner, PURA D’OR scalp therapy shampoo and conditioner, even slathering coconut oil all over my scalp for long periods of time.

Everything helped a little, but nothing was worth noting or kept my itchy flaking at bay.

I finally decided to try using Apple Cider Vinegar after my little sister text me a recipe. I figured, ACV cures EVERYTHING right?! So why the hell not…. I AM SO GLAD I DID! 

After just one treatment, I noticed a notable difference in my inflammation and itchiness. I also noticed that my flakes had decreased. I am currently three consecutive days in and my scalp hasn’t felt this good in about a year!

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Here’s what I do: 

Start by mixing 3 tablespoons of raw Apple Cider Vinegar with 1 tablespoon water + 1 full dropper of Tea Tree Oil in a glass bowl.

(I use a glass bowl so that the oil doesn’t sink into the plastic.)

Section out one inch sections of your hair at a time. With your finger tips, apply a heavy dose of the mixture to your scalp.

I continue in this fashion, moving from my neck up to the crown of my head. I re-do this step until the mixture is all used up (about 3 times). I also really focus on the itchiest spots and apply a generous amount to them.

 

turbie

After the entire bowl is used up, I throw my hair into a high ponytail and wrap it in a Turbie Twist. I hang out here for about 30-45 minutes…. stinking it up for the entire family. They love it. Trust me.

Then I wash my hair with cool water and my trusty shampoo & conditioners (mentioned above).

After an application of PYT Argon Oil, I let my hair air dry when possible then style with my flat iron.

I have gotten really awesome results with this process! I’ll keep it up daily until the flakiness and itchiness is gone (or at least almost gone) & then do it a few times a week.

So, my itchy scalp friends, go forth and wear black. 

 

 

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Dry Skin Faves!

The winter is a time for family, friends & holidays. It’s also a time for dry and cracked skin…. and feeling like you are constantly trying to hydrate up!

This year, I have found some new products that have really helped my face, lips and body to stay moisturized without feeling greasy.

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1. For the Face – 

NUDE Advances Renewal Overnight Repair Mask – I love and hate my twin sister for one reason: she uses incredible skin care products that are pricey and I always want them. When she had me try out this mask (which is really like a thicker lotion) I knew I wanted it! I always have dry skin on my nose and this has been the ONLY product to help with that. It is $48 from their site (or go get a sample at Sephora!!!) and, trust my frugal self… WELL WORTH THE MONEY. I use this mask at night after I wash my face and prep it with Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Serum (also a must have!). During the day, I use a different face lotion from Kheil’s.

2. For the Lips – (((I have had the most trouble with dry, cracked lips this year. No matter what I do, it seems there is always some peeling skin that leads to horrific looking lipstick and sore spots. Here is my routine that has seemingly cleared up my problem!)))

Homemade Peppermint Lip Scrub – I start by exfoliating my lips in the shower (rubbing off the top layer of dry skin with my finger – but you could also use a tooth brush or actual exfoliator). As soon as I dry off, I massage my lips with a homemade peppermint sugar scrub on my lips. *I received this scrub from a friend for Christmas and it has been amazing! All she did was mix sugar with doTERRA Peppermint Oil (or use peppermint extract). 

Vaseline Lip Therapy Rosy Mini – While I finish getting ready for the day or after I brush my teeth at night, I put a heavy layer of Vaseline Lip Therapy on. I love this product because it stays on my lips without feeling goopy. I also really like the light pink color it gives! 🙂

BITE Agave Lip Mask – During the day, I will typically put on a lip stick or lip stain. *If I use a lipstick, I will put the lip mask under it – and if I use a lip stain, I will wait for the stain to dry before using the lip mask over it.  This lip mask is super thick and I NEVER leave the house without it!!! It has been a life saver for the winds this holiday season.

3. For the Body – 

CeraVe Moisturizing Cream – I use to be able to get by with a regular lotion, but this year, my skin has been so dry it itches and leaves me bruised from the scratching! This cream is thick and I like to put it on and let it soak in for a few minutes. I use it daily after I shower as well as on my hands, elbows and knees at night. I get mine from Costco to save a little moolah!

I am always interested in learning about new products! Share some of your faves below!! 🙂

 

 

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Tattoo Stories

A tour through my work of art =)


 

first:second

My first tattoo was the heart, clovers and crown. It is a take on the Irish claddagh, meaning loyalty, love and friendship. Inside of the heart, I have a clover for each of my sisters. At the time, I was going to do the whole claddagh, but then decided to simplify it into this.

Awhile later, I wanted to add on to the heart and crown. I went to a psychic with my mom and we were able to connect with my great grandmother. At the end of the session, we asked her what she would do differently in life, if given the chance. She responded that she would have not been so rigid about everything being done (cleaning, ironing, etc.) and instead she would have enjoyed life a little more. She also showed a picture of a bouquet and said that she would had lived life like an all red rose bouquet. She would go back, and instead, live in a bouquet made of many different flowers. She would have experienced different people and enjoyed learning about different cultures. I got the banner and the flowers surrounding the heart to remind me to live and really experience life and the differences that make each person amazing.


third

The next tattoo I got was 2 poppies above my heart. Poppies are my twin sister and I’s birth flower. These are for the bond we share as twins, sisters and friends!

They are our favorite flowers as well as carnations!

 

 

 


fifth

Moving right on up the back, I got this piece in a time when it was rough financially for my family. My dad own’s his own custom cabinet shop, and all of my life, things have been either very good or really bad.

Right after high school, I worked with him and my mom in his shop. We were in a very bad position when I decided to get this piece. I put it on my shoulder so that when I looked in the mirror, I would remember to have faith in God and in us always being exactly where we need to be. I am a HUGE believer in the fact that you are always lead to where you need to be at that specific time. Things will always work out exactly how they are suppose to. Always have faith that you are right where you need to be in this moment and that you will soon learn the reason why.


Darkest

This was my $50 tattoo (reward) for losing 50lbs. I always wanted a side piece but I was always WAY too self conscious to get one. I promised myself that when I lost the weight, I would face my insecurities and just go for it. So I did!

This piece is very meaningful to me for many reasons. One being that God & my family will always love me no matter what I go through or the decisions I make (good or bad) in life.


foot

This tattoo is a memorial piece for a dear loved one who passed away suddenly due to cancer. I found out one day that he was very sick, and the next day, he was gone. It was hard to go through.

This tattoo says “we walk together always”, meaning that he is with me (and all my other loved ones) no matter which life or world divides us. Even in death, we always walk together.


tree

I added on to my $50 tattoo with this piece!

I love my family tree. It represents two people coming together to create roots stronger than anything. From the bond these two people share, branches of life grow and continue to branch out.

Nothing can break my family. We will ALWAYS have each other’s backs and be there no matter what. If you look closely at the roots, you can see an infinity sign representing the infinite love and bond we share.


ngu

This one has become my motto. Never give up on any dream you might have.

Nothing is too small or too big. If you want it, go out and get it. The only one stopping you is YOU.

 

 

 


qyeen

My latest (and unfinished) piece.

Like all my tattoos, this one holds a special place in my heart. This tattoo is for my grandparents. On first glance, you might just think I am a crazy alcoholic who has a gambling addiction (lol). But really, it is very symbolic.

Every day, I spend hours playing cards with my grandma. We have played cards since I was barely walking. She is my queen of hearts and the woman I look up to and admire more than anyone.

Instead of the classic flower that this queen holds, I wanted to incorporate my grandpa as well. At 5 o’clock every day, we have cocktail hour. We both drink Jameson on the rocks while my grandma sips on vodka. At every family occasion, we toast to our loved ones and the future with a shot of Jameson. This bottle means so much more than just a buzz – it is a bond that I share with my grandpa that has been built throughout the years with memories.

This piece will be finished at the end of May with a frame.

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Your NEW BFF!

Have you ever completed a workout or run that was so strenuous you KNEW the next day (or next hour) you would be so sore you could barely move a body part?! I HAVE!

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When I ran my last half marathon, I decided it would be fun to walk through the main event area with all of the vendors (I love doing this to see whats new and upcoming!) —- I was casually minding my own business when I was distracted by a good looking guy and a weird massager thing… Upon further investigation (and a long rub down by my good looking massager friend) I decided to purchase this weird thing that looked like an old table sander!

Here’s why this massager is so awesome:

1. It’s easy to use and the industrial chord makes it convenient to plug in and get your massage on anywhere!
2. Deep tissue massages never need to be scheduled again with this gem… you can do it yourself! Work the massager in different angles to get deeper into the muscles.
3. You can buff your lotion in!! Say hello to smooth skin!
4. You can remove your stubble!!! SAY WHAT!? YEP! There is a pad you put on to remove extra dry skin and hair stubble. I used it on my heels too and they are SMOOTH as a baby’s bottom now – all that gross gym shoe foot is gone! =)

Buffing with the exfoliator

Buffing with the exfoliator

Lotion on!

Lotion on

5. Different speeds allow you to adjust intensity
6. My whole family is on the BFF bandwagon… seriously, even my grandparents.
7. Use it for post workouts, or just stiff or sore muscles. My mom has been using it on her arthritic knees and has noticed a huge difference! Breaking up that tight muscle fiber helps to make the body work again =)
8. It comes in pink (but I got it in blue for the speeds…. still worth a mention though lol)

Massaging post 1/2 marathon! Feels SO good!

Massaging post 1/2 marathon! Feels SO good!

 

So what are you waiting for!? I know, I know… it’s a bit steep when you are on a budget… trust me, if you can make it happen – do it! My cheap ass did… and I am glad I did!

Plus, here’s a code for 15% off your entire purchase to make it just a bit sweeter…. use code “KFAB” at checkout. Get yours HERE.

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