Healthy Homemade Ramen: Break Up with Your Maruchan Noodles

Here’s a question for ya.

How many of you ate this stuff growing up? Maruchan brand Top Ramen noodles. I’m guilty of it too!

You know what I mean – the stuff we survived off of in college.. those cheap noodles we scarfed down while staying up late writing that midterm paper.. they were so easy to make, just add water and microwave. One study suggested that Ramen noodles were among college students’ top favorite foods. So what’s the big deal?

According to Food Revolution, Ramen noodles are particularly unhealthy because they contain a food additive called Tertiary-butyl hydroquinone (TBHQ), a preservative that is a petroleum industry byproduct. They’re also incredibly high in sodium, calories and saturated fat. Additional studies showed that ramen noodles do not digest properly, as the stomach cannot break them down.

Basically, they’re crap.

And when you eat crap, you feel (hate to be so blunt.. but you also look) like crap. Am I right?

Don’t worry, you don’t have to eat those anymore. You need to break up with the Maruchan brand my friend, it’s a very abusive relationship! And I’m here to help.

You see, if you can afford college, or noodles, or eating out, or if you have the time to read this blog post, you can definitely invest the time and money to make a healthier version of your favorite food. Not to mention gluten-free for those who need it.

It does take a quick trip to Costco to get some supplies. For those “yeah-but” pessimists, don’t you worry, you can always use a grocery delivery program like Instacart to deliver your foods, even stuff from Costco! So no excuses.

My recipe is simple, and you can make as many variations of this delicious soup as you can imagine! Here’s what you need:

  1. Jar of Better Than Bouillon (Costco has chicken, beef, and vegetable flavors)
  2. Flavors – add your aromatics here. Grated ginger, onions, sesame oil, garlic, etc.
  3. Water – boiling hot preferred
  4. Veggies – carrots, green beans, mushrooms, broccoli, spinach, bell peppers, jalapenos,
  5. Meat – beef, chicken, pork, fish, whatever you crave.
  6. Brown Rice Ramen Noodles (Costco sells these also)
  7. Sauces and toppings of your choice – Sriracha, soy sauce, edamame, bean sprouts, etc.

That’s all! You saute the “flavors” in a stock pan, add boil the water, add the broth/stock according to the instructions on the packet, cook and add the meat (only season with salt and pepper), add your veggies into the broth, then add the noodles (no need to drain) and top with your favorite sauces and fresh veggies. Maybe even an over-easy or soft-boiled egg. Yum!

Here are a few variations: (You can thank me in the comments below)

Chili Beef Ramen

Flavors to cook first: Garlic, Sriracha sauce, sesame oil
Broth: Better than Bouillon Beef flavor
Meat: Thin beef slices
Veggies: Carrots, green beans, spinach, mushrooms
Toppings: More Sriracha sauce, boiled egg, green onion,

Ginger Pork Ramen

Flavors to cook first: Garlic, ginger, a teaspoon of brown sugar, sesame oil
Broth: Better than Bouillon Chicken flavor
Meat: Thin pork slices
Veggies: Carrots, zucchini, spinach or Bok Chuy, mushrooms, broccoli
Toppings: Bean sprouts, ginger, soy sauce, edamame

Garlic Chicken Ramen

Flavors to cook first: Garlic, yellow onion, sesame oil
Broth: Better than Bouillon Chicken flavor
Meat: Thin chicken slices or shredded chicken
Veggies: Carrots, zucchini, spinach, mushrooms, green beans
Toppings: Bean sprouts, kimchi, over-medium egg, soy sauce, sesame seeds, edamame

Seafood Ramen

Flavors to cook first: Garlic, sesame oil, yellow onion
Broth: Better than Bouillon Vegetable Stock flavor
Meat: Shrimp, white fish, oysters
Veggies: Carrots, bell peppers, spinach, broccoli, water chestnuts, zucchini
Toppings: soy sauce, sriracha, bean sprouts, over-medium egg, lime juice

Vegetable Lover’s Ramen

Flavors to cook first: Garlic, ginger, sesame oil
Broth: Better than Bouillon Vegetable Stock flavor
Meat: None OR tofu
Veggies: Carrots, green beans, spinach, mushrooms
Toppings: fresh shiitake mushrooms, sesame seeds, sriracha sauce, lime juice


You’ll find that after a few tries, you’ll make your own variations that turn out amazing, and I’d love to hear about them! Please comment below!

How To Tell Identical Twins Apart

Twins. Two of the same person, right? Wrong! Two individuals who are non-synthetic monozygotic replicas of each other (did I lose you? Haha) who share similar features but are never truly 100% identical. Take it from me, an identical twin, God didn’t just hit copy and paste with us. Sure we have identical DNA, when most siblings share anywhere between 25-75% of the same DNA, but even identical twins have different fingerprints. Seeing as how we’re not all experts on CSI and possess the technology to scan fingerprints, here are a few fool-proof ways to tell identical twins apart!

1) Mirror Image Twins – Ever heard of this? Mirror image twins are twins who face each other in the womb, instead of sitting side by side. Therefore, what’s exposed to one twin on one side will be exposed to the other twin on the opposite side. This gives the twins opposite hairlines, opposite teeth patterns, and one will be left-handed and the other right-handed. Mirror image twins are 99.99% identical, but opposite in most ways. My twin and I are mirror image, and even our immune systems tend to be opposite, where when one twin gets sick, the other is immune to it. I have no idea how this happens, but it’s pretty neat!

2) Birthmarks – Twins tend to have the same birthmarks and moles, but usually in different areas. With me and my twin, ours are about 6-8″ apart from each other. My sister has a birthmark on her lower back, while mine is on my mid-back. She has a mole on her face and mine is on my neck on the same side.

3) Personality – Despite the fact that identical twins look the same, they have different personality types because well, they’re two different people! When you have a conversation with them, look for differences in how they talk, listen, act, and respond to what you say. You will notice that one twin might speak faster, or one twin may have a shorter attention span. People notice that my twin sister is edgier than me, and many people say I’m funnier than her (but be aware that it can change at any point)!

4) Where they stand – Because of how twins are formed together, you might notice that one twin usually stands on the right of the other twin, vice versa. No matter what age, my theory is that our muscles tend to retain memory, even back to certain womb positions!

5) Face Shape – If you look closely, you’ll notice that twins have different face shapes, especially as they get older. One may have a wider face, while the other twin may have a more narrow face. With me and my twin sister, our chins point down on opposite sides when we smile, and my sister has a more defined face than I do. Can you see the difference in these twins?

6) Ask their parents (when all else fails) – If the twins are young, their parents may be the only ones who can tell them apart. They know their twins more than anyone else, and are familiar with every nook and cranny of their children, so don’t hesitate to ask. No guarantee they’ll give away their secrets though!

And here are some fun ways you can attempt to recognize but it can vary each time you see a set of twins:

  • Eyebrow shapes
  • Hair color
  • Voices
  • Mean twin vs nice twin “look”
  • Mean twin vs nice twin “personality”
  • Hair length
  • Scars on skin
  • Taller vs wider smiles

Hope this helps! Do you have twins in your family or circle of friends? What are some ways you can tell twins apart?

How to Make Your Home Look Expensive On A Budget

Dime Design Logo

Have you ever made a move, had a significant life event, or did you just wake up one day feeling like SOMETHING needed to change?

A friend in Mesa, Arizona contacted me with just such a situation. A family life change meant that she had less furniture than before and after some introspection, she felt like some fresh style could help.

She used her cell phone to take some simple pictures of the spaces that she felt could use the most help. Some words she used to describe her spaces were “dark,” “bare,” “plain,” and “no sense of style.” When I asked about her artwork, though, she said that it was the one thing she loved.

I used the artwork and a quick peek at joyful pictures from her FB page to get a sense for her “subconscious” style.

I used Adobe Photoshop to place the items into her spaces, and, although they aren’t perfect 3D renderings, the sizes and perspectives are accurate enough to give a great sense of what some small changes can do.

Let’s start with her Family Room. The total cost for this makeover is about $500! Art, a buffet cabinet, and a storage coffee table with a lift-up desktop for just $160 create a huge impact for very little money! Artificial plants are a low-maintenance way to add color and class to a room. 4-foot tall potted plants frame the fireplace. Dollar Tree has vases and artificial flowers that can make a great impact. I chose the fill a glass vase ($1) with seashells ($3) and a variety of flowers ($6). See the room from a different angle below.

Original Family RoomRedesigned Family Room

Here is the view of the Family Room from a different angle.
Original Family Room View 2 Redesigned Family Room View 2
The exercise room/office includes a “bamboo look” exercise puzzle mat that will reduce joint fatigue and protect her floors for just $70! Inspirational Vinyl Wall Art is $40 on etsy, but only $27 on Amazon! and Canvas Inspirational Messages will help draw her into this sanctuary for loving on her body. Cling film on the french doors will let light in, and add high style beauty and privacy when she has guests. The bright paint subconsciously reduces stress and increases energy for just $40. Including new exercise accessories, this makeover costs less than $250!
Redesigned Exercise Room

Every parent knows that the kitchen is the heart of the home. This space was one that she just didn’t know what to do with. A 52″ wide kitchen island was $330 on Amazon, but was on sale on Wayfair yesterday for $265! An armoire to hold extra kitchen wares is only $260 at Ikea. Adding some artificial potted trees, seating, and side tables make a great spot for her kids to relax and work on homework while she cooks dinner. The modern blue rug adds high-class look, anchoring the space and tying it into the dining room next door. Amazon is a great way to turn your memories into wall art! A 24″x36″ mounted canvas of one of your pictures is only $40 (if you want editing or want a picture rendered to look like a painting, I do that for $20/image).

Original Kitchen Redesigned Kitchen

Last, but not least, the dining room. This beautiful room is flanked with wall-to-wall windows, yet still felt “dark.” When I asked her about the paint color, she said that it looked good on the card in the store. She hated the rug, though and felt like the colors belonged outdoors more than in a dining room. Drawing inspiration from her decorations, I found a modern rug at Amazon or Walmart for under $200. Painting just 2 walls a lighter blue color actually helps her artwork stand out more and makes the area look larger. Sheer curtains that match the accent walls open up the area. Again, small and simple touches renew this room for under $250!

Original Dining Room Redesigned Dining Room

Original Dining Room View 2 Redesigned Dining Room View 2

Do you like what you see?

Become a member, Request a design for your own space, and follow Dime Design!

Before You Shop Online, Here Are 62 Items You Can Buy For A Buck

So, being a HUGE discount queen, (hey it’s more fancier than calling myself cheap haha) I’m always on the lookout for great deals. While shopping online at and Amazon is convenient, I realize that there are so many things you can just buy at Dollar Tree! Why waste your hard-earned money buying these exact same items at any drugstore or online for more money? Can you believe all this stuff’s a BUCK?? Continue reading below!

  1. Coupon books – These are pre-labeled books where you can organize your coupons into the little slots! Love these! Great investment for a buck!
  2. Cotton swabs – A box of 170 Q-tips at CVS is $2.79. The same amount at the dollar store is… well, a dollar. It’s not the Q-tips brand, but I see little difference.
  3. Kitchen utensils – If you need a baster, a soup pouring spoon, a spatula, knives, etc. Dollar Tree has it!
  4. Medicines – Ibuprofen is like, $4-5 dollars for a 20 pack at Walmart?? Get it at Dollar Tree, same medication, just without the brand name!
  5. Double-sided tape – You can get 130 inches of this tape at the dollar store. This is a shorter tape than the 450-inch roll for $4.79 at Staples, but it is still 1/5 cent cheaper per inch.
  6. Cleaning supplies – you can find TONS of cleaning supplies here from laundry detergent to glass cleaners and even dish-soap!
  7. Paper clips – A pack of 100 vinyl-coated colored paper clips for a dollar versus 60 of the same for $2.49 at Office Depot.
  8. Wax paper, Parchment Paper & Tin Foil – These are hard to compare price-wise because the square footage is different in the boxes at the dollar stores than the boxes in the regular grocery stores. However, there are still cheaper per inch. Plus, I don’t use these items that much, so I don’t want giant rolls taking up my limited drawer space in the kitchen. I also really like the pre-cut pop-up foil sheets that are huge frustration savers.
  9. Holiday decorations – Every month there is an aisle full of new holiday decorations. These are cheap and fun gifts for the kids or a little seasonal pick-me-up for the house or office. Can’t beat the price.
  10. Envelopes – WITH the pre-licked (just kidding, I mean self-adhesive) tops!
  11. Baby wash and oil – My friends use the baby wash as a bath wash and the baby oil lotion is strictly a lotion but goes on smooth, sinks right in and is absolutely not oily. So don’t buy expensive, overly perfumed lotions and bath washes, you will no be disappointed with these two products.
  12. Tupperware containers – plastic containers to store your leftovers in. I’ve found sets of 2-4 containers at our local Dollar Tree, as well as a large cake-sized container.
  13. No Damage Hair Elastics – A package is $2.39 at CVS. No brainer!
  14. Candy – If you take your own candy into the movie theater, then getting your candy at the dollar store is the way to go as you can save up to $4 per box of junior mints or M&Ms. You’ll see a lot of off-brand candy, but don’t be turned off. There is plenty of brand name candy as well, like Snickers, Butterfinger, and Tootsie Rolls.
  15. Picnic supplies and utensils – Awesome for parties! And YAY for fewer dishes to wash!
  16. Socks – From exercise socks to holiday socks to warm fuzzy cozy snuggle socks! Can’t go wrong here!
  17. Batteries – I’ve seen AA, AAA and watch batteries.
  18. Undergarments –  Good cotton underwear, socks.
  19. School and home office supplies – I seriously get all my papers, pens, notebooks, tape, staplers and colored pencils here. Good deal.
  20. Calculator – AWESOME deal! Put 2 and 2 together on this one. Haha, get it?
  21. Locking plastic baggies and garbage bags – You can pretty much get any off-brand Ziploc bags there, and they sell Hefty brand bags too!
  22. Books – for all you bookworms out there.. the genres are limitless!
  23. Greeting cards – YES!!! Two for a $ at Dollar Tree…. how can you go wrong??
  24. Groceries – A number of my friends and family members RAVE about the groceries and foods they have eaten from dollar stores. While quality varies, the list included organic soymilk, flax seeds, various bags of beans, veggie/fruit “green” bags, dry onion soup mix, canned soups.
  25. Shampoo and conditioner – I’ve seen Suave brand, V05, etc. Pretty good deals!!
  26. “Silk” flowers and fake leaves/ fruits – put these in a basket they sell and viola~ A fruit basket!!
  27. Gift bags and wrapping paper – the whole back wall is full of wrapping paper, gift bags, and ribbons!
  28. Hydrogen peroxide and alcohol – Perfect for starting a first-aid kit!
  29. Puzzles, board books, and coloring books – great for keeping the little ones busy!
  30. Mops, Brooms, Dustpans – clean house happy family!
  31. Washcloths, kitchen towels – these are pretty good quality, I dunno why I paid $3-6 for each one at Walmart!
  32. Trays and containers – Sterno trays and other aluminum containers. I love using these as serving dishes for meals!
  33. Baking trays and cookie sheets! – I also found disposable casserole dishes
  34. Cheap eyeglasses – one of my friends swears by these, she loves them!
  35. Balloons – they can blow up any for you and you can also buy packs of different colored balloons.
  36. Cell phone car chargers – I’ve seen them at Dollar Tree before.. who woulda known?
  37. Cell phone covers – I found some at Dollar Tree for the iPhone 4 and 5.
  38. Chips – many different kinds. I’ve seen Pringles, potato chips, pretzels, Lays, etc.
  39. Small flashlights – perfect for your emergency kit!
  40. Small puzzles (usually Disney) – what a cute idea for a kid’s birthday gift! And the Disney brand! Awesome!!
  41. Scotch tape as well as packing tape – stick to these and you’ll never go wrong! Ha!
  42. Small Christmas presents and stocking stuffers – during Christmas time there are TONS of Christmas gifts and fun toys you can wrap or add to loved ones’ stockings!
  43. Tableware – Dollar Tree has a good selection of tableware from bowls, plates, glass and mugs to utensils!! All the same brand, different styles, and all $1 per piece.
  44. Nail polishes – they have TONS of different colors there any as far as I’ve tried them, I don’t see a difference in their quality versus drugstore bought nail polish!
  45. Makeup – the Dollar Tree by me sells pretty good quality makeup. I’ve seen Maybelline, ELF and some L.A. Colors brands!
  46. Hazelnut Wafer Twists – yummm those delicious chocolate-filled wafer sticks that everyone loves… and the same flavor as Nutella. Yum again.
  47. Tissues – Kleenex, Puff’s, paper towels, and toilet paper!
  48. Noxzema razors – Apparently they give you a good shave and do not nick like cheap Bics.
  49. Wipes – antibacterial cleaning wipes as well as moist towelettes and baby wipes!! I keep them in the glove compartment of my car and use them to clean up spills, wipe down my desk, wash my hands when I’m on the go, I’ve even used them to remove make-up in a pinch.
  50. Rubber gloves – Save a couple of bucks by buying these at a Dollar Store!!
  51. Cotton balls and cotton swabs – They normally cost between $2 – $4 at drug stores.
  52. Baby powder – perfect for moms who don’t care to spend so much on the same product at a drug store.
  53. Hand sanitizer – little bottles, big bottles, you’ll find them at a dollar store near you!
  54. Pregnancy tests – Dollar tree has them for $1 while the name brand ones anywhere else can be $10-$15! And if you’re wondering, they’re 99.99% accurate and so much cheaper at $1.00!
  55. Animal toys – I’ve bought dog chew toys, cat collars, and toys, catnip here, etc. They have a HUGE selection, and in case you have an animal prone to demolishing toys, you can always go back and get another, they’re only a dollar!
  56. Bleach – goes along with cleaning supplies
  57. Little plastic tube squeezers for toothpaste and ointments – they also have empty spray bottles for those of you who make homemade cleaning supplies!
  58. Juice Boxes – It’s hard to find 100% juice at most supermarkets, and when you find it, it’s pricey. The local Dollar Tree sells four-packs of 100% juice boxes, some of them organic. They’re smaller than standard size but perfect for little ones.
  59. Toothpaste and floss – pretty good deal!
  60. Toothbrushes – how could I forget?
  61. Hand soaps – I’ve seen Soft Soap brands here, normally for $2-3 at Walmart and drugstores. They even have cute bathroom containers you can put hand soaps and lotions in!
  62. Makeup remover cloths – my siblings swear by these, and they don’t leave your face too dry or oily!


Soooooooo I’ve told you all the REALLY GOOD DEALS you’re getting by shopping at a Dollar store FIRST, but I’m about to let you in on a little secret that’s gonna SAVE YOU EVEN MORE $$$ and absolutely blow your mind. Ready for it?




So next time you build that long grocery list, be sure to swing by your local dollar store and find the best deals there FIRST! And by all means, use coupons! Then, feel free to carry on with life!


*Special thanks to Bobbi at for sharing some of your ideas! :D

$20 to Spend at Walmart Freebie

Free cashI found a great deal I wanted to share! We’ve all been there, times get hard and we find something online that we REALLY want, but we can’t get it because… funds are low. Whether it’s a new makeup tool, some cute flip flops, a couple nail polishes or a moisturizing conditioner, if it’s at Walmart, let me help you get it!

And no, my hubby isn’t freaking out right now haha. You see, here’s why it’s great to have a friend in the blogging business. I love finding and sharing COOL PERKS with everyone!

Here’s how I’m going to help you get $20 cash to spend at Walmart:

I partnered with TopCashBack, one of the United States’ most generous cash back sites (its better than Ebates), that gives you cash back on all your purchases. Right now we agreed on a fun deal: $20 to spend at Walmart on (almost) anything, just for signing up. And here’s another perk, I’ll throw in an extra $5 bucks, just for signing up using my referral link below:

Get My $20 now

Here’s how it works. You click my link above, you sign up with TopCashBack, go to THROUGH the Top Cash Back site, spend $20, and within minutes your $5 will show up, and within a few days another $20 will show up. This deal is for new members only.

TopCashBack also has an app, so anytime you want to shop online, be sure to go to the site directly from the app so you can receive cash back on all purchases. If you don’t go to the site first, the program won’t see your referral and cannot reward you. It’s very similar to Ebates.

From 1-5% cash back on every purchase you make, the dollars can add up quickly! This deal only lasts until July 28th so act quickly!

Best wishes and happy shopping!

Homemade All-Natural Laundry Detergent – 5 cents per load, with free printable labels

Got babies? Or family members with sensitive skin? Or just can’t afford laundry soap with its super high prices? We sure do! Why spend $15-20 on a gallon of chemical-rich, fragrant-overloaded, heavily-dyed laundry detergent if it could potentially harm your loved ones’ lovable yet super sensitive skin?

Quick remedy: Try making this all-natural homemade laundry detergent! I found a few different recipes and reviews on Pinterest, and apparently everyone swears by this homemade detergent! Its all-natural ingredients are chemical and dye-free, perfume-free, it’s a natural stain and odor remover, it’s safe for sensitive skin, and costs around .5 cents per load to make. Not to mention the fresh natural lemon scent your laundry will be left with after washing each load! I’ve been using this laundry detergent for several months now, and have even found other websites that have compared its super stain-fighting abilities to your average commercial laundry detergent, and this recipe has proven valiant and victorious against the battle with stains!

First of all, to make my claims accurate, I need to share what the ingredients are and what’s in them (thank you Wellness Mama for sharing):

What’s in it:

Borax, Washing Soda, and Fels Naptha

Borax is a naturally occurring mineral made up of sodium, boron, oxygen, and water. It is an ingredient in most of the natural soaps available now (Seventh Generation, etc.) but it is much more inexpensive to make yourself.

Washing Soda, sometimes called sodium carbonate or soda ash, is made from common salt and limestone or found as natural deposits.

Fels Naptha is a laundry bar soap that is used for dissolving oils and removes stains; its ingredients include tallow, glycerine, coconut oil, palm oil or palm kernel oil.

Calculating the Cost (According to local Walmart prices):

  • One 55 ounce box Washing Soda- $3.49
  • One 76 ounce box of Borax – $4.99
  • One Bar Fels Naptha Soap- $2.99

A 3.5-Gallon batch of detergent costs approximately $5.69 to make and washes exactly 112 loads (using 1/2 cup detergent per load), costing about $0.05 per load!

And now for the recipe you’ve been waiting for:

Homemade All-Natural Laundry Detergent – 5 cents per load, with free printable labels

Yield: 4 gallons of laundry detergent

Homemade All-Natural Laundry Detergent – 5 cents per load, with free printable labels


  • 1 bar Fels Naptha Soap (found in the laundry aisle of most stores)
  • 1 cup Borax
  • 1 cup Arm & Hammer Washing Soda (not to be confused with baking soda!!!)
  • One 4 gallon bucket
  • Water
  • 4 empty milk gallons to store detergent


  1. Bring 4 cups of water to boil in a medium saucepan.
  2. Using cheese grater, fully grate bar of Fels Naptha into a bowl.
  3. Pour grated Fels Naptha into boiling water while stirring, turn heat down to medium-low but still simmering, and stir well with whisk until soap is completely dissolved. Remove from heat.
  4. Fill 4-gallon bucket with 3 gallons of hot water.
  5. Add Borax and Washing Soda to hot water, then add the hot liquid soap. Stir with large spoon or whisk.
  6. Cover bucket with lid and let cool for an hour. After an hour, use a funnel and a large cup to pour detergent into milk gallons. Let the detergent sit for 24 hours before using for the first time. Detergent will turn into a solid jelly-like texture when sitting, simply shake gallon before using and it will return to its normal liquid consistency.
  7. When ready to use:
  8. Shake gallon until detergent turns into a liquid. Use ½ cup of detergent per load of laundry.

Also helpful:

Print out these super cute labels above that I made and tape them to your milk gallons!

Printable Soap Labels Here

amazon prime day

Amazon Prime Day 2019 Is Here! Top 5 Deals Under $100

amazon prime day

Time Left before AMAZON PRIME DAY is Going Going Gone:

Are you PRIMED this Summer for some great savings? We hope so! Amazon’s Prime Day 2019 is here in full swing and there are many deals to take advantage of! Here are my top 5 favorite deals under $100:

1. Toshiba 32-Inch Fire Edition Smart LED TV, $100 Shipped!

2. Instant Pot DUO Plus 60 Pressure Cooker, $56 Shipped – Lowest Price I’ve Ever Seen!

3. Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote, streaming media player (Includes $45 Sling TV credit), $15 Shipped!

4. Echo Dots, only $22 Shipped!

5. Amazon Fire Tablets from $30 Shipped!

These deals won’t last long, they all end soon so get yours while you can! For more amazing Amazon Prime deals, visit the Amazon Prime Day Deals page by clicking here:


Happy Savings!


Why I Get Brazilian Blowouts (despite it being harmful)

What’s the big deal about naturally curly vs straightened hair, anyways? Who cares?

Here’s my story. I’ve had curls my whole life, and being biracial, half of my family thought my hair was amazing and “au natural” to wear it curly, while the other half called it “nappy” and encouraged me to chop it off and keep it short.

I’ve always struggled with my hair. Ive always had tangles and breakage, despite my best efforts in keeping up with it. As a model, I’ve been in many hair shows and have had so many hair stylists ruin my hair over and over for money’s sake (One thong I can say with absolute surety is that Rusk brand is NOT meant for curly hair). And on top of that, after giving birth to each of my babies, my hair starts to form into dreadlocks on its own. I have no idea why this happens.

I’ve tried the Curly Girl Method. I’ve tried relaxers, and vegan dyes and trimming my hair every 6 weeks.. and have spent thousands of dollars on hair products. I’m so sick of people swearing by a certain hair product, only to learn it was an affiliate marketing scheme and the product is really expensive crap I fell into the trap of ordering.

I’m sure Brazilian Blowouts aren’t the best for your hair – or your skin. I’ve heard the stories about the formaldehyde and toxins and harsh chemicals you’re likely putting in your hair, but if I were to honestly look at what I want: long manageable hair that does what I want it to, when I want it to, I believe I’ve found the right method for me!

My natural curls are a 3B/3C. Well, they’re supposed to be. In reality, they’re a fuzzy tangled mess. And everyone else seems to know what’s best for my hair but me, right? I’ve heard it all:

“Wear a pineapple style to sleep to preserve your curls” – It tangles the back of my hair.

“Use shampoo and conditioner without sulfates/parabens/silicones.” – Find me one that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg.

“Sleep with a satin pillowcase” – All the hair products soak into the pillowcase and into my skin and then I have another problem: breakouts.

“Wrap your hair up before you sleep” – Has anyone found a wrap that’s 1) actually comfortable and 2) stays on overnight?

“Do the Curly Girl Method” – have you seen how many products these ladies are putting in their hair?? Oil, gel, leave in conditioner, mousse, hairspray, some other spritzy blitz crap, I just don’t want all that in my hair! I don’t have 2 hours to get ready for my day, I have a screaming baby and a 4 year old who wants breakfast the minute his eyes open in the morning! Its gotta be tough for these women keep up with their hair and all the gick they shlop into it.. not to mention “diffusing”. And notice how there’s no actual list of stuff to use, everyone uses their own products and no one can really explain one simple method. CGM is flawed because it assumes tangles don’t exist. These ladies don’t spend an hour in the shower each day separating and detangling chunks of “mop”.

With a Brazilian Blowout treatment, I get to keep it simple. I get it done by a trusted hair stylist, use Honest Company brand shampoo and conditioner when it’s time to wash, and the conditioner again as a leave-in for styling. No tangles, no mess, it grows very quickly, and I can wear it in loose curls or straight. So far this has worked very well for me. Yes it’s ridiculous how expensive the BB is, $100 for a treatment that lasts 3-6 months, and shampoo and conditioners are – $10 for a 10oz bottle, but it also doubles as a gentle body wash. Bam, 2 for 1.

Anyone else want to defy the curly girl rules with me and use this method? No? Then please feel free to share products and methods that truly keep it simple for the curly hair and the wallet. Thanks!

~Yours Truly

Get Free or Low Cost Beauty Products Mailed to Your Home

As we all know, beauty comes at a price, of course no one told our wallets that. Isn’t there a way that you can get all of your beauty wants and needs without breaking the bank??? ABSOLUTELY!!! Here’s the scoop on how you can score free or low-cost beauty products without leaving home!

Let’s start with a brief survey:

Do you ever feel like there’s a “love of your life” product out there that you haven’t met yet?
Do you feel lost in a full and complex beauty world?
Are there products you want to try but your budget doesn’t allow you to take that leap of faith?

If you said yes to any of the above questions then a Beauty Box could be the answer to all your hopes and dreams!! What is a Beauty Box you ask? A Beauty Box is a package sent right to your door, filled with a full range of beauty supplies and products for you to try! These supplies and products often come in sizes ranging from Travel, Deluxe Sample, and Full. Some Boxes focus on Luxury items, others cover a full price range, and there’s even a box that puts the focus on eco-friendly, sustainable, beauty care!

Sounds Great! What are some of these boxes and which one is right for me?

IPSY: This one sends you a full range of beauty, hair, and nail care. Sometimes they’ll even throw in fun things like ear-buds! They stick with domestic brands, so if you fall in love with a product it’s close to home! They are $10 a month. If you’re new to Ipsy, go ahead and use this link and avoid being put on the waitlist! I’ll also get points for everyone I refer so don’t hesitate to use this link to sign up! And as you refer people to Ipsy, you will receive free stuff also!

BIRCHBOX: This is a popular one. It’s only $10 a month or $110 for a one year subscription. They also have a $20 box for the Guys! They send out a full price range of products but tend to favor Medium-High.

BEAUTY ARMY: In all other boxes mentioned your products are chosen for you and are sometimes a mystery. While that may be fun and exciting for some, those of us who don’t like surprises and like to be in control will prefer Beauty Army! With Beauty Army YOU CHOOSE what 6 products your $12 a month brings you! You will have plenty of high-end products to choose from and they promise you that at least one (if not more) of your products will be full size!

GLOSSYBOX: Focuses on High-end Luxury products from all around the globe! Some of these products are ones you could never get unless you went to their exotic locations. Glossybox offers a 1 month ($21), 3 month ($60), 6 month ($115), and 1 Year ($220) subscription.

GOODEBOX: This is the Eco-Friendly Box! They put their focus on finding you the healthiest, green, ingredients and make sure each brands Ethics and Performance is top of the line! Sweet deal for $16 a month!

INFLUENSTER VOXBOX (FREE): If you’re social-media savvy and have a strong online presence, this box is PERFECT for you! You get a FREE (seriously, $0.00 cost) box of goodies that sometimes include makeup, hair products, snacks, new vitamins, lotion, body wash, toothpaste, etc. etc. and in return, you write reviews on these products!! You’ll be asked to take surveys in order to qualify for these products and you don’t get them every month but hey, who can beat a box of FREE stuff? Pretty much no one!

There’s also more beauty box subscriptions that I’ve seen online, such as Boxycharm, Sample Society,  and Lusthaveit which range from $20-30/mo for their subscription, and they send 4-7 deluxe samples of beauty supplies, haircare, makeup, treats and some full-sized products. Beautyfix ($50.00/mo) is a little more on the pricey side, but they send even more samples in the mail, and they’re typically more high-end luxury products and treatments. Not to mention FabFitFun!

For more FREE STUFF, you can also send hand-written personal letters to companies via mail and tell them how much you love their products, what your favorites are, and ask for coupons, OR you can tell them you’re looking for a new favorite product and ask if they have any samples they’d be willing to share. Both get you free or discounted stuff! Go ahead and try it! I’ve gotten soooooooooooo many free samples delivered to my house from doing this including maxi pads, energy supplements, lotion/skincare and haircare samples, candy, energy and protein bars, baby wipes and makeup remover cloths, etc.!

Please share this wonderful news! All ladies deserve to look like a Princess and be treated like a Queen!