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Sunday, August 31, 2014

Feeling Grateful

At the beginning of this summer my family was headed to Atlanta to join my husband in a new job venture.  The goal was for me to stay behind with the children until the school year finished and then relocate at that time.  Well, turns out God had other plans for us!  My husband ended up returning home to his former job which offered him the same opportunity and promotion the gig in Atlanta gave.  The obvious upside was that the family did not have to move so we jumped on that offer immediately.  Unfortunately, by the time all of this came about I had already put in a notice of resignation at my company and they had already found a replacement that I had begun training.  I took what seemed like a closed door for me and saw it as God opening a door that was definitely needed at the time.  Spending some quality time with my children was well overdue.

While the summer did not come with it's own set of financial struggles with me not working, it's the memories that are truly priceless.  Who knows when I will be able to spend this much time with them again.  Sure we didn't get to go on as many trips as we usually do or have as many frivolous outings, we made do with what we had.  Most importantly bills were paid and food was always on the table.  This by far was the biggest blessing I have received all year.  We never thought that we could get by on just one salary but anything is possible if that's God plan for you.

Once the kids return to school this week, my job search will be kicked into overdrive.  We've been praying for the right opportunity to present itself and we have faith that God will open  yet another door.  I just felt compelled to share how grateful and blessed I have been feeling as my summer vacation with my family comes to an end.  When an opportunity doesn't work out, sometimes it's because God is making way for something greater.  XOXO
Saturday, August 30, 2014

Current Favorite Skincare Products




The area of skincare is a world that I recently started to give all my money to in the last few years.  I have always had problematic skin since a teenager but usually attacked it with various over the counter products. According to my teenage self I had severe acne but as I matured I saw what "severe" acne really looked like and realized quickly that I had more mild-moderate acne!  In addition to my acne I also have oily and sensitive skin.  Yeah, the skin Gods were clearly  not on my side.  But, I have managed to tackle these issues by developing a skincare product buying addiction. LOL.  The products listed are my most recent faves at the moment, some being repurchases.

1. Lush Cosmetics Vanishing Cream:  This was an impulsive Instagram purchase.  I can't remember who exactly put me on to it but I'm certainly glad they did.  The top pro of this product for me is that it does not clog my pores and cause breakouts.  I use it in the evening as my moisturizer and it leaves my face feeling soft but not greasy.  In the month that I have been using it, I've noticed a visible difference in the texture of my skin and diminishing dark spots.  Can we say win win win???!

2. First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Overnight Mask:  Yet another purchased fueled by Instagram.  I'm starting to think if I didn't have Instagram, I would have more money.  That's a thought to contemplate!  Anyways, I've been interested in trying an overnight mask since they first surface but had been worried about it clogging my pores at night and causing a breakout.  Yet another trend in my skincare worries as you can see.   But, you are slathering a product on your face and just leaving it there for hours so it made sense to me that it could possibly clog a pore or two, right?  Well, I finally gave in and took the plunge and to my surprise, NO CLOGGED PORES.  In fact, my skin looked amazing the next morning!  So now this is part of my routine about 3 times a week.

3. Murad Intensive-C Radiance Peel:  Occasionally, I scroll through skincare products on the Sephora website and sort by highest ratings just to see what's the best out there.  This is absolutely normal.  On one occasion, I came across this product and the ratings spoke for themselves so obviously I ran out and snatched it up.  This is absolutely my favorite peel/mask to use.  I love that it slathers on like a cream and is very comfortable on the skin.  Between the product being packaged in a tube form and the consistency being easy to handle, I was sold almost immediately.  You will see immediate results but I find that my skin looks even better the next day.  Weird, but those are just my own personal observations.

4. Glam Glow Supermud Clearing Treatment:  This mask should have an Instagram page of it's own because any and everyone is talking about it.  This is an older find actually as I am on my fourth jar now.  But, that should tell you A LOT!  How often do us beauty addicts repurchase the same products over and over again?  There's always something new coming out so it's far too easy to be distracted.  Not to mention, it's rare for me to even completely run out of a product before I'm out purchasing yet another.  This mask should be in every acne prone girl's cabinets.  Not only do I use this as a full facial mask once a week but I use it as my spot treatment when I do have a pimple or two not wanting me to be great.  This is another product that will give you immediate results, though not long lasting so feel free to use it more frequent than once a week if you choose.

5. First Aid Beauty Blemish Patrol Pads:  So, one day I was scrolling through Instagram (surprise surprise) and Felicia of ThisThatBeauty was raving about these bad boys.  But it was what she said that made me snatch up my keys and hit my nearest Sephora within an hour.  She claimed that since beginning using them, she had not experienced ANY breakouts.  If you hate acne as much as I do then you understand the heart palpitations I experienced.  Well, the claims were true.  When used consistently (day and night), I did not experience any acne.  Sure, I did develop some minor breakouts here or there but it was more from me being lazy with my routine and not being consistent.  User Error.

6. SuperGoop City Suncreen Serum:  I must admit, I have not been using/wearing sunscreen religiously.  Which of course is counterproductive to my issues I have with dark spots.  To my defense, it is not for lack of trying.  Many of the sunscreens I have purchased in the past were too heavy or greasy for my oily skin and eventually made me break out.  I picked this Sunscreen up after reading the nearly 5 Star Reviews on Sephora and because it's advertised as serum.  Well, it's definitely not the consistency of a serum but it is the thinnest sunscreen formula I've tried.  It absorbs into my skin quickly, doesn't add to my oiliness and has not caused ANY breakouts at all.  I am more than happy to reach for this daily as my moisturizer prior to applying my foundation or just on it's own.  If you've steered away from sunscreen for the same reasons I did, I would definitely suggest giving this one a try ASAP.

Well there you have it!  I hope my mini reviews of these products helped if you were interested in any of these products.  If you find that your skincare woes are similar to my own then I would definitely advise you to give these bad boys a try.  I'm currently trying out a new cleanser that I am not 100% in love with so I didn't want to include it quite yet.  If you have any recommendations for me please feel free to leave them below.
Friday, August 15, 2014

Miss Jessie's Giveaway and Review of Products



My very first giveaway is finally here and it is sponsored by Miss Jessie's!  Needless to say, I am beyond thrilled to be giving away some of my favorite products.  I have been a ride or die Miss Jessie's customer since I first Big Chopped so it only seemed right that I team up with the brand for my first giveaway.  Below are mini reviews on the products included in the giveaway in case you were wondering my impressions of them.  I have only included products that I have used and loved so need to worry about tainted reviews here.

1. Creme de la Curl:  This is very creamy cleansing conditioner with awesome slip.  If you are looking for a moisturizing, sulfate-free cleanser that does not lather, this is it!  This was the very first cleansing conditioner that I ever fell in love with actually.  When my hair was really short (TWA status) and I had to wash my hair more frequently, I was able to use this without fear of drying out my hair.

2. Super Sweetback Treatment: OH MY LORD!  This is the granddaddy of Deep Conditioners.  I remember when I first saw the price of this conditioner in stores and my jaw dropped.  For a while, I didn't try it because I couldn't imagine spending that kind of money on conditioner.  But, finally I took the plunge to see what it was all about.  You can't knock something until you try it, right?  Well, I was beyond amazed with how soft it made my hair.  In fact, my hair felt so different that I was sure that some chemical metamorphosis had occurred.  LOL.  Once rinsed, I was left with shiny, soft curls that were incredibly moisturized.  This was my first experience in hair products where you truly get what you pay for!

3. MultiCultural Curls:  This is a fairly new product to me... In fact, this week was my first time trying it out!  It's the perfect styler for Wash and Gos as it has a very light texture that leaves your hair moisturized for days.  Very little goes a long way as this product is loaded with good oils but too much can start to weigh the hair down.  When applying this product to your hair it feels like leave-in conditioner because it has such a huge amount of slip and even "softens" the strands but almost immediately I noticed my curls starting to perk up.  So, it's definitely a Styling Product!  Although, I have not used it for a twist out yet I am sure it would be a great product for that with all the moisture it adds to the hair.

4. Jelly Soft Curls: I have been riding with this product since it's release, literally!  I purchased the  product the exact day it was released on the Miss Jessie's website LOL.  Simply put, it's the best gel I have used on my hair.  Sure there are cheaper options out there that may give you more product but again, it's quality over quantity with this.  This is the only gel I ever use on my edges so if you've ever wondered how I tame and keep my edges slicked, it's this stuff here.  When I am aiming at making my Wash and Go last for more than 2 days, I apply about a quarter sized amount of this product to each section and rake it through.  It leaves a nice hold that doesn't weigh down my curls and great shine to the hair!

5. Leave-In Condish:  I must say this is my absolute favorite product of Miss Jessie's.  I can't get enough of it and it's my most recommended product PERIOD.  For starters, I absolutely love the scent and texture of this product... It's not too thick or thin.  When a leave-in is too 'thin' in texture I tend to need to use more and when it's too thick I tend not to be able to use as much as I need.  I like to apply this on nearly soak and wet hair and rake it through using my fingers.  Don't worry about a struggle because this product has so much slip that your hair will easily slip through your fingers.  If you have little ones, this is perfect for a tear free detangling session.  On regular occasion I only use this leave-in conditioner with nothing else but some oil to seal the moisture.  Not only does it provide lasting moisture but it separates and makes my curls pop.  Leave-In Condish is truly a one-stop HIT!

Well there you have it, a small review of all the products included in my Instagram giveaway with Miss Jessie's.  For a list of ingredients, please check the products out at www.missjessies.com.  Other than that, come follow me on Instagram @mycandishoppe for more information on how to enter the Giveaway and win!  Good Luck!
Thursday, August 14, 2014

I Love Shrinkage, Yes I Do... I Love Shrinkage, How About You?




Yesterday, I posted a few pictures of my hair using a new product sent to me by Miss Jessie's.  As I applied the product to my hair, I absolutely LOVED the way it felt.  It didn't feel like a styling product but I could clearly see it working it's magic almost immediately.  My curls look like they had 10 extra lives to them and the first thing that came to mind was "this product is going to create a lot of shrinkage".  For me, shrinkage has never been an issue and in fact, I am against NOT having shrinkage!! LOL.  As I've mentioned before, I have very tight coils which obviously means lots of shrinkage but when my curls lack definition or curl pattern, it's usually a sign of poor hair care and health.  I mean who actually 'wants' lifeless, loose curls?  Yes, it happens to the best of us sometimes due to different reasons and then we have to spend countless hours trying to achieve the "look" of curls that are healthy.

I say all this to encourage my curlfriends to embrace their shrinkage.  Constantly, I am seeing sayings like "Shrinkage is a b*tch", "Damn my shrinkage" or "Shrinkage at it's worst".  Without shrinkage many of us would have unhealthy, lifeless curls.  Many Naturals end up big chopping numerous times after damage like this has occurred.  Glorify your shrinkage just as much as you glorify the length you've gained from maintaining a healthy hair care regimen.  It's all directly related to each other!  There's no need to constantly stretch your curls in pictures to show others how long your hair really is.  Be proud of how tight your curls actually are and let lookers know that in that shrinkage there is HEALTH.

How do you actually feel about shrinkage?  Do you feel the Natural Community is obsessed with showing length?  Leave your opinions below in the comment section...
Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Wash Day Staples




Over the past few months I have discovered quite a few new hair care products.  Most of which were through Social Media, obvi, but some were from random trial and error.  My most important product trait is the amount of "slip" it provides to my hair.  I have very tightly coiled curls that tend to become quite tangled from my Wash and Gos so by the time Wash Day comes, my hair is in major need of detangling.  Every single product I use in my hair HAS to provide a certain level of "slip", even the cleansing product.  My current product regimen has treated my hair quite well so far so lets review them quickly!!

1. Herbal Essences Naked Cleansing Conditioner:  I have been in love with this cleansing product for quite some time now, over half the year at least.  In fact, I have done a video review on YouTube which can be seen here.  This product applies to my hair like a creamy conditioner but is different from other cleansing creams that I have tried because it doesn't leave a weird residue.  Rather, it actually leaves my hair feeling very clean and soft!  I have gained some length since I first started using and my hair still needs another conditioner to detangle at this point but when I was in true TWA status, this baby detangled my hair on its own.  IT'S THAT GOOD!

2. Pantene Pro-V Curl 2-Minute Conditioning Masque: This is now my second step to my wash day regimen right after I cleanse.  This is what I consider my detangling phase and this is the perfect product for such.  It will melt your strands to a silky soft texture making it so easy to detangle.  Some days I use my fingers only while on other days my Denman brush is needed to maintain my sanity.  It gets like that sometimes... My Curlfriends know the feeling!  I apply this conditioner in 3 sections (both front sides and the back) then leave on my hair for about 2 minutes while I am in the shower.  Once it has had the time to work it's magic I get to work on a super easy detangling session.  On days I am truly in a rush I can end my wash day here but I really prefer not to.  I go an extra step with yet another conditioner after I rinse the Pantene masque out with warm water.

3. Shea Moisture Superfruit Complex 10-in-1 Renewal System:  The very last step in my Wash Day affair is this little gem.  I am so surprised I love this product so much as it is the very first product from Shea Moisture that has worked well with my strands!  And yes, I have just about tried everything from the other lines.  Not only does it have a great amount of sleep for a Masque/Deep Conditioner but it saturates and strengthens each of every strand of hair.  Once applied, I leave this on my hair anywhere from 30 minutes to 6 hours! LOL.  It all depends on what I am doing for the rest of the day!  But after I rinse the product from my hair with cold water it feels so soft and moisturized.  I can feel a slight amount of oil left behind which doesn't bother me one bit.

So, that's it for my updated Wash Day regimen!  There's not much to it and honestly, I prefer to keep it that way.  With 3 kids and Husband and (usually) a Full Time job, I frankly just don't have time to spend too much time on it.  One item I wish to add in the future is possibly the Huetiful hair steamer.  Although, this would add another step, it would cut back on the amount of time I needed to leave my conditioner on for as well as providing better effectiveness of my conditioners.  So, it's something I am considering but for right now this unemployed momma will be sticking to what's here in this post!
Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Why Does The Grass Always Seem Greener?


If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I recently resigned from my job to be at home with my children.  The decision to do so came as my family was making a major move to Atlanta, GA which soon after we decided against.  Nonetheless, my husband was finally in a position where we had a choice for me to work or stay at home.  Since, the kids were on summer break the decision was made that I just stay home and enjoy the summer with them.  It was not and still has not been determined if I will resume working once they go back to school.  So why is this decision so hard to make?

When I was working full time in an Executive position that only allowed me 3 hours max per day with my children, I always felt so guilty.  I constantly missed their mid-day school programs, was never able to be a "room mom" and was never 100% happy with the role I played as a Working Mom.  The discussion of me quitting my job and staying home with my children was constant between my husband and I.  Unfortunately it was not financially possible for us to do so at the time.  One discussion I had with my previous Regional Manager, and now Mentor, has always stuck with me.  She has two sons in college and not only was a Working Mom but heavily traveled as well.  Her words of advice were "You will never be 100% happy with the time you have lost and what you are missing.  Don't focus on that.  Live in and be happy with the moments that you DO have with your family".  While "mastering" this level of contentment probably takes time, it is the closest many working moms will get to feeling less guilty.

On the flip side, now that I am at home spending ALL my time with the family I don't feel fulfilled.  While I am up and at it from sunrise to sunset, I don't feel like I have a real purpose.  Working and bringing in money to the household seems so much more satisfying for some reason.  What is with this all too familiar struggle?  I guess if I had to choose, it would be staying at home that would make me happiest.  The only guilt I have with that is to myself which is something I can live with.

But seriously, why does the grass always seem greener?  Whether you're a Working Mom or a Stay-at Home Mom please weigh in.  Have you felt this way in the past?  What have you done to resolve your feelings?

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