Product Review: Earthly Delight Conditioner

In Review: Earthly Delight Conditioner (pictured at right)

Cost: $15.99 for 16 oz bottle from Whole Foods

Ingredients: Deionized water, vegetable glycerine, rice bran oil, avocado oil, wheatgerm protein, panthanol, amino acids, vegetable emulsifying wax, essential oils of neroli, cinnamon & coconut

Aesthetics: The casing is a simple clear plastic bottle.  It has a plastic pull up spout that the conditioner comes out of.  The conditioner is fairly viscous and is a beige color.  I would compare its consistency to yogurt. It smells like conditioner. LOL, I know that's not a great description, but the smell isn't very strong, not particularly exotic or awful.

PROS: This conditioner has some top notch ingredients.  I use this conditioner as a detangling conditioner and my hair responds to it very well.  When I use it, my hair has a lot of slip, thus, I can work through tangles very easily.  This doesn't leave a residue on my hair, however I do rinse VERY well to ensure it's fully rinsed out of my scalp.

CONS: Price.  This stuff is expensive.  I probably get about 8 washes out of one bottle.

Bottom line: I have yet to find a conditioner that provides slip like this one, so I'll pay the price to save myself time and hair loss during my detangling session.

My Regimen

I think it's been over a year since I last sat down and typed out my regimen.  When I first started the blog I tried a LOT of products and homemade concoctions (remember the banana conditioner?).  Now, I have some trusty staples that I CANNOT LIVE WITHOUT. First, I will summarize the products I use and their purpose.  Then, I will explain my regimen by breaking down my weekly wash routine.

Summary of products I use
*I buy all of my products from Whole Foods and I have been using them for the past 8 months*
Deep Conditioner: Aubrey Organics Honeysuckle Rose Conditioner
Shampoo: J.R. Liggett's Shampoo Bar
Detangling Conditioner: Earthly Delight Conditioner
Final Moisturizer/Sealant: Varies - still searching for my staple!

Step 1#: Apply Aubrey's Organic Honeysuckle Rose Conditioner to dry hair.  Leave on hair for at least 15 minutes.
Step #2: Rinse out conditioner and section hair into 6 sections, twisting each section and clipping it to separate it.
Step #3: Un-twist one section and apply J.R. Liggett Shampoo Bar - rub bar directly on to hair moving from root to end.  Use pads of fingers to wash roots.  Pat hair to clean.
Step #4: Apply Earthly Delight Conditioner on top of shampoo'd hair.  Saturate hair with conditioner.  Detangle hair using Denman brush. Finger comb through tough parts before using the brush if necessary. Spritz hair with water if a section is dry.
Step #5: Re-twist section and clip away.  Repeat steps 3-5 for remaining sections.
Step #6: Rinse hair well, apply moisturizer of choice. Moisturizer = aloe vera/shea butter mix or castor oil/shea butter mix.  The entire process takes me about 45 minutes.

Note: I DO NOT wash my hair in the shower, I use my kitchen sink. Why? Because you waste SO MUCH WATER detangling and washing afro-textured HAIR in the shower. A little math for ya: If it takes you 30 minutes to wash/detangle your hair, you have probably gone through 150 gallons of water for one wash. A volume of 150 gallons = 284 2-liter soda bottles. Consider this the next time you head to the shower.

I'm still looking for a great moisturizer.  youTuber African Export recently promoted Bear Fruit Hair, a new company focusing on skin and hair products with top-notch ingredients.  The great thing about BFH is that YOU, yes YOU can make your own concoction.  I am going to purchase their "Desert" leave-in since I'm still looking for a daily moisturizer.  I've tried Oyin, Giovanni, Kinky Curly and nothing has really done it for me.  I'll let you know how BFH goes. Also, if you want to purchase their products, watch this video for a $5.00 off code!

Finally, I LOVE my Aubrey's and Earthly Delight and JR Liggett.  Seriously, these products DO THEIR THING!  I will post separate product review posts to explain why I love them so much.

Outfit of the Day: Neutral Hues

Shirt - J Crew; Sweater - Banana; Shorts - Sample via Anthro; Shoes - Everybody via Anthro; Scarf - Anthro; Earrings - Urban; Hair - Two-strand twist & roll

Date: Sunday, September 26

When I really started devoting my shopping to building my wardrobe, the first thing I did was pick a general color scheme to hone in on.  I chose grays, blues and greens to start. With these colors as a base, I can mix and match recent purchases (shorts) with old favorites (cardigan).  The scarf adds the pop of color/funk to add some life to the look!  PS - These shoes are a fairly recent purchase, seeing them now makes me really love them!

Teriyaki Couscous

I made this couscous 2 weeks ago, and I was debating posting about it because I didn't love it at first.  However, I ate it for leftovers as lunch and it wasn't so bad.  I honestly think I don't love the texture of couscous and therefore, I'm going to be tentative about any recipe with it moving forward.  On to the recipe...

Teriyaki Couscous from The Healthy College Cookbook (I bought it at Urban)
Serves 4

This recipe is actually vegan.  The ingredients and steps to making it are simple and affordable.

1 tablespoon EVOO
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped mushrooms
1/2 cup chopped eggplant
3 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon white vinegar
3 cups cooked couscous *I used whole grain

1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the vegetables, 2 teaspoons of the ginger, and 1 tablespoon of the soy sauce. Saute 7 to 10 minutes, until the vegetables are tender and beginning to turn golden.
2. Add the remaining soy sauce, ginger, vinegar and couscous. Cook fro 1 minute over high heat, stirring often to blend the ingredients.

That's all, there you have it!  Overall, this tasted ok, probably a 6 out of 10 for me.  I would only cook it again because it was super cheap, quick and filling. If you can't tell by the pictures, I didn't use eggplant. I'm not sure if my palette is ready for eggplant without a bunch of spaghetti sauce and parmesean to compliment it :).  Next time I make this, I will probably add at least 1 full cup of mushrooms.  They give food a meaty/heavy texture, and I need that in my life sometimes.  I will also probably sub the couscous for brown rice.

Sometimes I just want to cut it

Yes ya'll - I'm referring to my hair again.  I know some of you are reminiscing on my recent post on my "love affair" with twists, however that affair came about only after frequent thoughts to CUT IT!  Let me explain my thinking and break it down into two parts: #1- Why I want to cut it and #2- Why I won't cut it...right now

#1 - Why I want to cut it

Obviously these two pictures are clear examples as to why I just want to cut it.  These styles are super cute, edgy, versatile and (dare I say) easy.  I bookmarked a highlight on Curly Nikki about a woman who cut her APL hair into a similar style (check it out here).  I saved it because I know I'll do it someday.

#2- Why I won't cut it...right now
Two reasons, one being because of my job.  I wear hard hats every day and I would need to rock a low fade - 2" max for me to maintain healthy hair.  Also, I know my fro would get ruined with wearing hats every day - what's the point of a cut like this if it's constantly matted down?  Second, I set some goals for myself and I want to see myself achieve those goals.  I will not cut my hair until I reach APL (not including trims).

For now, I'll just save all of these pictures so that when I do reach APL, I'll be ready to go with my new style!

Outfit of the Day: Fall

Dress - H&M; Boots - Urban; Broach - Anthro; Belt - Sample; Necklace - Old (as in time not a label); Earrings - Urban; Watch - Movado; Hair - Janelle Monae front w/ reverse french braid

Date: Tuesday, 9/21

Monday was the first night of the season when I needed to close my apartment window - it was chilly outside and the weather was in the 60s. The chill reminded me that fall is here! Since today is officially the first day of fall, I thought it was a good day to post these pics, despite the fact that it was actually 90 degrees today (hello global warming).   I brought out one of my staple fall items - BOOTS.  The cool color of the dress also reminds me of fall AND the broach has plush velvet and a faux feather - fall again.  Do you catch the theme?  Maybe this will encourage the weather to be normal, more like fall and less like summer...

*I'm going to add my hairstyle with my outfit since it's definitely a part of my personal style*

Twist Love

With all of these posts about what I wear and eat, I was BOUND to write SOMETHING ABOUT MY HAIR!!!  I've been rocking some combo of my Oompa Loompa/Shingai/Janelle Monae updos for the past 2-3 weeks.  Yesterday, it was time to refresh my updo, and as I started to take my hair down I twisted one piece, then another and another...I looked at it and I liked it.  I continued to twist my hair until I was finished and I thought, "This is exactly why I don't twist my hair anymore" LOL.

I styled my hair into this lovely twist & roll, inspired by a loc'd style from Essence. Twists carry a wonderful elegance because they capture our texture in a unique way. My twists remind me of yarn, and I love it.   I think I forgot how much I like twists in my quest to be lazy find quick hairstyles. I especially liked these twists because my hair was well-stretched and they came out nice and thick. Additionally, with my new length, I think I will enjoy styles like this more often.  It's times like this that I'm glad that I combed out my locs to experience my hair and still achieve a similar look!

Have you found yourself straying away from twisted/braided styles? If so, why?

Vegetarian Sloppy Joe

Yes, you read the title accurately.  There is such a thing as a Vegetarian Sloppy Joe.  Before you stop reading let me open by saying that the dish tasted AS GOOD, if not BETTER than any sloppy joe I've had before.  Honestly, you don't "miss the meat."  On to the details.

Vegetarian Sloppy Joe from College Vegetarian Cooking

Ingredients *original recipe was for 12, I halved it*
1 small onion
2 stalks celery
1/2 green bell pepper
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 6-oz can tomato paste
1/2 cup ketchup
1 tablespoon yellow mustard
1 tablespoon firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup textured vegetable protein
2 cups water
Salt & Pepper
Burger buns

I know what you're thinking - what is textured vegetable protein?  I know that's what I thought when I read this!

Textured Vegetable Protein aka TVP is a nutritious soy product made from defatted soy flour that has been dried.  It has all the nutrients and no fat.  Additionally, it's only $2.99 and I got it for free because it was my first time trying it.  One benefit to Whole Foods is that they will allow you to sample things if you mention it being your first time.

I LOVED this dish.  I did sub yellow mustard with spicy mustard and I added cheese.  I used whole wheat buns.  There was a lot of flavor and best of all, it took less than 30 minutes - total.  Additionally, the bf ate it AND gave it an 8 on a scale of 1 to 10.  Let me mention that bf is NOT a vegetarian.  I'm trying to convince my mom to try this one at home, I swear, with the flavors in the recipe - you wouldn't miss the meat! I'm sure this recipe still would be great with meat as well ;-)

Outfit of the Day: Fonzarelli

Top - Anthro; Pants - H&M; Belt - Sample; Shoes - Hand me down; Earrings - Gift; Necklace - Gift (Etsy) ; Ring - Etsy; Watch - Skagen; Sunglasses - Anthro; Hair - Oompa Loompa front w/ reverse french braid

 My first Outfit of the Day!!! I call this one "Fonzarelli" because my hairstyle was inspired by Fonzie from Happy Days.  As I put this outfit together, I didn't plan on this being my first outfit of the day.  However, when I saw how well the black pants worked with the brown accessories, I knew I needed to share!  I really love mixing black & brown because it's unexpected and definitely shows off my  style.  I do a lot of androgynous looks because button ups are my thing - I love how they fit my body.  Ideally, I would have worn this outfit with some brown flat oxfords, however I don't have any (they're on my "Fall to Buy List"), so I compromised with some brown flats.  I wore this outfit to work, nothing special, just work.

Quick Outfit of the Day Introductions...

  1. I have racked up a lot from Urban Outfitters Sample Sales over the years because I have a close friend who works there and loves me and gives me whatever she doesn't want.  Items labeled "sample" cost me less than $5.
  2. Additionally, I get discounts at all Urban Outfitters stores (Urban, Anthro, Free People & Leifsdotter) because of this friend, so I have a lot of Anthro items, but I DO NOT EVER pay full price for Anthro clothes/accessories.  
  3. I get a lot of jewelry from independent jewelry designers that sell their stuff on Etsy.  I love unique hand-made pieces, and supporting independent designers.
  4. My bf is my photographer for the time-being.  He's doing this as a favor to me, so it's not his craft - just like modeling isn't mine! lol
  5. I have a regular Canon Power Shot SD630 digital camera, and hope to upgrade soon!

Sofull Sista...where "she" is going

I recently discovered how much I love blogging for my own personal fulfillment.  Originally, when I created Sofull Sista, I saw a NEED for 4b sistas to have a space to share unique and fierce styles.  In the past I have confined myself to sticking to hair because I thought it would be too much to talk about food, hair, fashion and holistic living in one blog, thus I stuck to hair.  However, I realized that as much as my blog is about sharing information with other people, it's also an AWESOME outlet for me.  Thus, I hope you enjoy the new additions.

#1: One addition that's sure to come is "Outfit of the Day" posts.  I recently have fallen IN LOVE with so many personal style blogs, I thought daily outfits would be a great way to showcase my sense of style and my love for fashion.  I plan to post 1-2 outfits every week.  My first one will be posted some time soon!!!  If you like style blogs, check out a fellow naturalista (and friend's) blog at Watch Me Dress!

#2: This isn't an addition, but I've upped the ante on this one.  You may have noticed more food posts...really that's because I realized that eating out IS expensive.  Seriously though, I am cutting down on eating out, thus I have to cook or I'll starve.  Plus, cooking is a good life skill for me to develop.  I'll definitely continue to supply you with weekly healthy, affordable eats.

#3: Lastly, I will add occasional "fitness" updates.  I personally  find that writing about exercising is not fun.  I definitely don't enjoy writing about running for 5 miles when I know how I truly FEEL when I run 5 miles - not awesome.  However, I do like training for events and playing competitive sports.  As I join teams and register for races, I'll let you know what I'm doing to stay fit.  In case you're wondering, I'm currently torturing myself exercising by running 10 miles a week.  I typically break this up by running 3 sets of 3,3 and 4 miles at a pace of 9.30 minute/mile.  I run because I love to be outside and smell the fresh air, it's free, and I love the health benefits of running.

That's pretty much it.  I'm still going to talk about hair a lot, because that's just who I am.  If you know me "in real life" you would probably see how my blog truly reflects my actual interests and activities.  I hope you continue to enjoy the perspective I bring.  Thanks for following Sofull really makes me smile every time I see "strangers" read the stuff I write!

Bad habit

Today I realized that I have an innately horrible, undeniable, bad habit.  Ok, I'm exaggerating the severity of the habit, but it is a bad one.  My bad habit is:

I pop/pull/snap off my fairy knots, when I should snip them with scissors.

I don't know what it is about fairy knots, but when I see one, I just pop it.  I'll do this while I'm driving (which is dangerous)...or while I'm working...reading blogs online...or any other time I have two free hands.  I think I'm going to start carrying a pair of shears so that I avoid the urge to POP!  My excuse for this bad habit is: "popping these fairy knots does not cause worse split ends" -#fail.

Do any of you have "bad habits"?  They don't even have to be hair-related.  For example, my other bad habit is that I rarely go a day without dessert...seriously sweets are my KRYTONITE!!!

Oh you fancy huh

Yesterday, only through the coaxing of my wonderful bf, I made a particularly "fancy" dish, titled:

Spicy Fish and Coconut Rice w/ a Side of Spinach

WHOA!  Are you taken back by the title?  I surely was.  I got the recipe from Essence's October know the one with all the yummy men on the front cover ;-)

"Let the church say AMEN!" Oh yeh...the dish...

Heavy-duty foil
4 4-oz red snapper filets
1/2 teaspoon lowest sodium kosher salt
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1 8-oz can crushed pineapple in juice
1 medium mango, slightly unripe, peeled, seeded & cut into 1/2-inch thick slices
1 large shallot, minced
1/2 cup orange juice
1/4 cup Italian parsley
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 cup instant brown rice
1/4 cup fat-free evaporated skim milk
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, lowest sodium available
2 teaspoons light tub margarine
4 teaspoons sweetened coconut flakes, toasted 30 seconds in microwave

SPINACH *my own "recipe"*
1 bunch spinach
2 cloves garlic
All purpose seasoning to taste

I honestly am exhausted just after typing all of these ingredients.  I omitted/revised a couple of ingredients, but I do that sometimes due to my frugality.  For the fish, I substituted sea salt for kosher, forgot to buy the pineapple, and bought 1 orange to replace the orange juice.  I don't drink juice at home and buying "natural" juice is expensive - I find that purchasing the actual fruit saves money for juices you don't use often.  I also purposely omitted the parsley because it was mainly for garnish and free garnish tastes best!  For the rice, I substituted coconut milk for skim because I had some on hand.  I also subbed sea salt for kosher and used butter because I didn't have margarine.

Although I am a pescatarian - this means I include seafood in my diet - I rarely cook with seafood at home.  Mainly because it's expensive and I'm cheap!  After cooking this dish I feel more inclined to stick to vegetarian-ONLY meals at home.  Don't get me wrong, the meal was good.  However, the fish ALONE cost $22 for 3 filets!!! WTF? That will be the last time Whole Foods gets my money for fish!

To end on a happy note, my bf was delighted with the dish - seriously he thought it was "AMAZING"!

Bangs and a bun

I cannot recall how I wore my hair this past week, however I know that I did a lot - remixed some old hair styles and I rocked an afro again yesterday.  Thus, I didn't take any solo-hair pics.  Today, I went back to some old pics from a month ago.  I never got to posting pics of this style, so I thought it's now or never!

This style was inspired by my interest in curly-hairs texture with bangs.  I basically wanted bangs and since I don't wear my hair out much, a low bun was perfect for the rest of my hair.  I feel like a low bun has some sort of je ne sais quoi that a high bun lacks.

This style was done on stretched hair.  I pinned my hair back into a "bun" - honestly there wasn't a whole lot of hair in the bun, but I didn't care.  When I braided my hair the night before I sectioned the braids so that my hair was lying towards the front.  This made the bangs flow naturally.  Pictured are two options for this style: one with it off my face - I swear my acne prone forehead is a result of hair on my face - and another with it on my face.

Fall hair inspiration

I am an avid reader of fashion magazines, I subscribe to Lucky and purchase Marie Claire and inStyle for the month of September for their BIG FALL ISSUES!!!  Let me apologize ahead of time for my fall excitement.  I'm looking forward to the layering, scarves and BOOTS!  All the fashion mags and websites are talking fall so I thought I'd join in on the fun.

I get emails from Refinery29, and they recently did a focus on "5 Super Easy Fall Hairstyles".  Most of them won't work for our afro-textured hair, however there is one that is simply DIVINE!

I love this style because it's carefree, wispy and hat-friendly.  I also think the girl in the last pic is black...she probably has a relaxer...REGARDLESS - this style is TOTALLY doable on our afro-textured hair.  I think our texture showing through will also give the style a lot of flavor and character.  Unforch, I do think this style needs to be done on longer hair - I think I have to count myself out :-( - but I still wanted to share the idea for those of you who do have the length to achieve this style.

I will add this: You see how the brunette (second pic) used black hair ties and there's a contrast to show the banding done in this style?  I, comparingly, would use brown hair ties to contrast the color against my nearly black hair.  I would also add a center part in the front.  If any of you try this style, let me know how it goes!

Just "eff" it and enjoy it

Often times in the natural hair world there are certain "rules" to follow:

Rule #1: Your hair MUST BE in protective styles 99.9% of the time
Rule #2: You MUST EMBRACE your natural curl pattern (or lack of it)
Rule #3: You must NEVER EVER straighten your hair or you will be deemed a sell out
Rule #4: You MUST avoid certain products (Ex. Mineral oil, sulfates & silicones to name a few)

I may be exaggerating some of these "rules", however I have recently noticed that there are a lot of unspoken rules in the natural hair community.  While rules are awesome guidelines and markers to help us along - THEY ARE NOT LAW!  So I say - Just "EFF" IT!  Forget the rules sometimes and ENJOY your hair.

When I first went natural, a big part of it included me enjoying my hair.  That's right - just loving it, embracing it and being ecstatic about it.  After my BC in 2006, I NEVER deep conditioned my hair, I used ZERO oils and any store-bought product, and I ALWAYS wore my hair out.  I also NEVER trimmed it.  Guess what - it still grew at the same rate that my hair grows now.  Granted, I didn't know what I was doing, however, I also wasn't concerned about it (I don't recall having any major breakage).  You know the term, "absence makes the heart grow fonder"?  Well, I think absence may make the hair grow longer.  LOL, maybe not in every case, but I definitely think it's good to just let go, and let your hair do what you and it wants to do.

For example, if you love your hair in an afro, and it's easy for you to maintain - wear an afro.  Or, if you like your hair to curl a certain way, and don't mind spending 2 hours and 1 tub of eco-styler to get it to look that way - do it!  I write this post not to encourage people to ignore proven techniques in growing our afro-textured hair.  I write this post to remind ourselves that our hair should be fun.  It should be enjoyable, and if the previous statements hold true, it will always be beautiful.

Oompa Loompa Updo Style

Happy Labor Day - I love paid holidays!

I did this style on Friday before the holiday weekend, I was rocking a TIRED bun and wanted something with more class and elegance.  This style took all of 5 minutes and lasted 4 days.  When I looked in the mirror I thought: "I love a pompadour...actually, this one reminds me of an Oompa Loompa, LOL!"  I walked around the entire weekend calling this an Oompa Loompa style.

I did a video how-to for this one because I thought it would be easier to show you how I did this style. I did this style on stretched hair, the video was done in real-time.  Originally, I planned on talking during the video.  I later decided to cut that stuff out.  Let me know what you think!

Sort of a french braid

I love to tap into unsual places for inspiration. Today, I'm just looking at awesome larger braided styles that a lot of the "stars" are wearing.

Is it just me, or does everyone have a "random" braid pinned back in their hair these days!  I love braids, I would wear cornrows if my braiding was better and it didn't take so long.  I've been looking at larger braided styles because they're quick, protective and typically fit under a hard hat! Additionally, these  styles are low-stress for my edges, which is AWESOME! This is what I came up with pulling from these's a type of french braid.

I don't know why I made that face in the last one...caught myself trying to "change things up" - AND FAIL! LOL!

Tutorial:  This style was done on stretched hair.  Make a part that stretches ear to ear for the front coiff/pouf.  Section this hair off.  French braid the back, pin the remaining braid up (or in a bun if you have enough length). Pin the front down with hair pins and bobby pins.

Overall, this is a great protective style for me because it's quick, cute and is low stress on my edges.

Pasta and more pasta

Two weeks ago I stated that I was going to post at least one healthy food recipe every week.  Well, I missed posting last week, but I have pictures!!!  Additionally, I cooked Monday night.  Both dishes were pasta-based, cheap, quick & easy to make =  PERFECT FOR ME!  Both dishes are from my new fave cookbook: College Vegetarian Cooking

Last week I made a pesto pasta.

1 bunch of fresh basil
2 cups grape tomatoes
1/4 cup grated parmesean
2 tablespoons EVOO
2 cloves garlic
8 oz bowtie pasta
salt & pepper to taste

Took me about 30 minutes and I was ready to eat!  This dish was not my favorite, only because I don't really like tomatoes.  Well, I don't like uncooked tomatoes...I think I just don't like the texture of the inner tomato.  I'm sure anyone who likes grape tomatoes would LOVE THIS DISH!  I prepared the dish because I have this idea that I can change my palette to get myself to like certain vegetables that I never liked before.  I am making, I can stand to eat tomatoes on certain types of sandwiches (like a pesto/goat cheese/spinach melt - YUM!)  Ok, enough about my dislike for tomatoes...on to the next...

This week I made a coconut pepper pasta. The original recipe was made to serve 2, so I doubled what I thought I should to make it stretch a little longer.

1 red pepper
1 yellow pepper
2 carrots
1 onion
3 cloves garlic
2 cups coconut milk
2 teaspoons curry
8 oz egg/rice noodles
Juice of one lime

This took about an hour to cook since I had to cut all the veggies into thin slices.  I'm not a fast chopper and I cut my finger (lol but OUCH!).  This dish is really good, the flavors are unique, but they blend well.  As always, if you want the step-by-step, email me!