My five (5) favourite Nigerian love songs

•February 15, 2015 • Leave a Comment

Hello there friends of Omonaij! I hope you had an awesome Valentine’s Day yesterday! Enjoy these Nigerian songs that give me the warm, fuzzy feelings all year around whenever I listen to them. Feel free to share any of your favourite love tunes in the comment section!

5. Flavour Ft. Tiwa Savage – Oyi (Catch cold)

4. Felix Libarty – Ifeoma

3. Kcee – Limpopo

2. J Martins – Fine fine Love

1. Wizkid – Love my baby

 

BONUS

Tiwa Save Ft. Leo Wonder – Ife wa gbona

5 signs your transition to natural hair is going well

•January 25, 2015 • Leave a Comment

5 signs your transition to natural hair is going wellCongrats, you’re on your way to a more holistic approach to hair health! The journey might be a little bumpy at first, but things will get better over time, especially once you’ve fully transitioned to natural hair and you’ve created and mastered regular routines that work for you and discovered healthy natural hair products you can even make yourself (KA CHING! That’s money saving right there.). If at this point you’re only thinking/researching about transitioning to natural hair and haven’t exactly started the transition yet, that’s OK too—it’s all part of the journey.

I’ve been wearing my hair un-relaxed since 2003/04. No, that doesn’t mean my hair is as long as Rapunzel’s by now. What it means is that I’ve had my share of the famously known ‘the big chop’ and I’ve improved over the years in the way I care for my hair. Not only do I rock my hair un-permed, I also use only pure, natural products on it, staying away from harmful chemicals you find in most commercial hair products. I make my own natural hair care products that work for me, and I have a regular routine that help me manage and keep my hair healthy and happy.

Whether you’re already on your way to being a naturalista or simply thinking about it, here are some things that let you know you’re moving in the right direction.

  1. You feel good and more comfortable in your own skin

There are a lot of pressures from society about what beautiful is and means. Unfortunately, we’ve been made to believe that kinky, coily, natural hair is not beautiful. We see this in the media (TV shows, ads, movies, books ect) all the time and even worse, we may hear friends and family talk that way too about natural hair. Heck, there are people who don’t want to date a woman who embraces her hair in all its nappy glory (their loss, not yours). For these reasons, some people may feel embarrassed about wearing their hair natural. If you ever felt that way in the slightly bit but not anymore, that’s how you can tell you’re getting the hang of this whole naturalista thing. Congrats on this new found confidence!

  1. You put less chemicals in your hair

For me, having natural hair means many things, but most importantly it means that: 1) I don’t relax my hair or do anything to it that tamper with its natural state, and 2) I use only pure/natural ingredients and products in my hair that are free of harmful chemicals. If you feel the same way, and you’ve done your research and/or started incorporating more chemical-free products into your hair routine/regimen, then you’re doing just fine. Being a true naturalist is about strong healthy hair, length is secondary.

  1. You see a positive change in your hair and its health

I’ve experimented a lot with my hair, which is why I’ve had about three big chops since I’ve been natural (since 2003/04). But once you find a regimen, routine and products that meet your needs, it’s worthwhile to stick with that and you’ll begin to see results. For me, a number one priority is that my hair is healthy at all times. These days, my hair is full, lush and healthy and has a nice sheen to it. It always looks like it’s being hydrated and fed well. My hair looks strong and vibrant, not dull and withered.

  1. You find it’s getting easier to manage your hair everyday

Like most things in life, being a naturalist takes patience and practice. If your primary goal is length (which isn’t a bad thing) you might exhaust your patience quicker than if you focus on overall health (you may achieve length, but it doesn’t necessarily mean your hair is healthy. If you achieve health, your hair is bound to grow). With some practice, you’ll learn to create a natural hair regimen/routine that works best for you.

  1. You take advantage of the countless number of hairstyles you can rock

This should be the least of your worries, whether you have teeny weeny afro (TWA) or hair down to your butt. But how to style natural hair is actually most people’s concerns (especially hairstyles for work). There are many resources out there you can tap into for hairstyle like YouTube and Pinterest. If you’ve found a way around this problem that’s a headache for most people, then you’re definitely on your way to being a naturalista.

I hope this blog post gives you some boost to not give up on the natural hair journey—whether you’ve already started or thinking about it. If you have other ways to measure how your transition to natural hair is going, share your thoughts in the comment box.

3 ways to prep your hair for protective style

•January 18, 2015 • 1 Comment

I love protective hairstyles, especially with braids/extensions. My go-to protective hairstyle for the winter months are single braids with Marley Braids. I use Marley Braids (a lot) to do mainly short and long medium-size two-strand twists, chunky twists/Havana Style and cornrows. When I’m not going coo coo for Marley Braids, I use X-pression braiding hair. Those are my two go-to braiding hair brands. I tend to keep my braids in for three to four months. That is perfect enough time to give my hair a break from combing and styling and help it grow. But before I put my hair in a protective hairstyle for such a long period of time, I make sure my hair is well cared for and gets all the nutrients it needs before it goes into hiding.

My routine is simple, and I never miss it whenever I install a new protective style.

  1. Clarify

My clarifying mix consists of 50% shampoo, 30% baking soda, and 20% water. I mix it all together, apply to my hair, leave it in for no more than 10mins, then I rinse with lukewarm water. This removes all the buildup from my hair and leaves it squeaky clean. When your hair is squeaky clean, it makes it easier for deep conditioner or LOC to penetrate every single strand deeply because there is no build up or other chemicals surrounding the hair strand.

  1. Deep condition

Almost all the products I use for my hair are natural/home remedies and I make them myself (except for shampoos). I have a few choices for deep conditioners, depending on what I’m trying to achieve (protein, strength, fight dryness etc). My all-time favourite is 80% honey (heated in hot water or for 10-15 seconds in a microwave) with 20% extra virgin olive oil. Simple. This mix gives my hair strength, helps it retain moisture and keeps it soft. I mix the two ingredients together, apply to my hair, leave it in for as long as I want, then rinse with warm water. Most of the time, I apply this honey and extra virgin olive oil deep conditioner to my hair in the morning on a weekend and then I go about my day doing house chores or errands, and then I rinse it out later in the evening.

  1. Do the LOC method (liquid, oil, cream)

Once I’ve deep conditioned my hair and I’m ready to start the protective hairstyle, I moisturize my hair and keep the moisture in by following the LOC method. I do the LOC method in sections as I braid my hair because adding water to each section I part for the braid makes it easier to comb/manage. I part my hair into four big sections. As I work on each section, I part the amount of hair I need for each braid, apply “LO” (from my spritzer of 70% water and 30& oils), comb, apply the “C”, then add the braiding hair and start braiding/twisting.

It’s just that easy, and you can do it too. Give your hair the nutrients it needs, especially before you put it in a protective style for a long time.

Happy New Year!

•January 4, 2015 • Leave a Comment

I like to laugh, smile and fill my mind with positive, optimistic thoughts. Most importantly, I like to share these good feelings with others. The New Year message below was shared with me recently and I couldn’t have said it better myself. Enjoy it—and HAPPY NEW YEAR FRIENDS!!!!!

Happy-New-Year-2015_Nigerian-blogger_Jan4Happy New Year!

The Boarding on Flight 2015 has been announced. Your luggage should only contain the best souvenirs from 2014. The bad moments should be left in the garbage if it exceeds 3 ounces of liquid tears. The duration of the flight will be 12 months but the next stopovers will be: Health, Love, Joy, Harmony, well-being and Peace.

The captain offers you the following menu, which will be served during the flight:
A Cocktail of Friendship
A Supreme of Health
A Gratin of Prosperity
A Bowl of Excellent News
A Salad of Success
A Cake of Happiness
All accompanied by bursts of laughter and hugs.

Now, fasten your seat belt for take off ladies & gentleman. You’ll be able to move around your cabin momentarily as we climb even higher beyond your wildest dreams. Ready for take off? Let’s Go!!

Wishing you all an enjoyable trip on board flight 2015.

Happy holidays from your Nigerian blogger

•December 21, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Happy-holidays-from-your-Nigerian-blogger

Thanks for passing through my blog. It’s been a busy December and I’m not posting weekly on Sundays like I normally do. But I’ll be back on schedule come the New Year so make sure to stop by regularly then. In the meantime, all my old posts are here for you to enjoy.

Happy holidays to you and yours!

Discovering the little gems in Edmonton #4 – Ribbon Rouge gala

•November 26, 2014 • Leave a Comment

I can’t believe there’s just one month left in 2014—which mean I’m almost done my “Discovering the little gems in Edmonton” project. Early this year, I promised myself to get out more and enjoy the many great things and happenings my city has to offer. There are tons of things to do in Edmonton, but sometimes life gets in the way. You find that you’re either too busy or you simply take your city for granted.

This month, I attended Ribbon Rouge’s annual gala, something I’ve been meaning to do since I found out about the foundation through my brother. The gala raises money for HIV and precedes go to HIV Edmonton, The Stephen Lewis Foundation and UNAIDS program. It’s a great cause I really wanted to support. I was impressed and inspired by Ribbon Rouge when I first heard about it, especially the fact that a young female founded it, someone whose vision I could relate to. Her name is Moreneke (she also goes by Nikki) and she’s been organizing the annual event for seven years now. I first met her in 2013 through my brother when she volunteered to help us with African Cultural Night 2014.

The gala was good. It started at 6 p.m. (no “African Time” with this one). I got to enjoy Sierra Jamerson sing, check out an art exhibition focused on the “Phenomenal Woman” theme, and bid on a few silent auction stuff while the show got ready to really kick off. Later on, a dance performance followed by a fashion show set things in motion. Dinner started making its way around after that while we watched the Sangea African dancing/drumming jam up a storm and got the crowd to join in on the fun too. Afterward, Medgine blessed the crowd with fierce, unapologetic, heartfelt spoken word. After that, it was dance dance dance for the rest of the night.

I really enjoyed Medgine’s spoken word and the Sangea dancers. Plus I got two of the three stuff I bid for in the silent auction. It was an expensive night, but it was worth it. Like Nikki, there are many young people in Edmonton making a difference everyday. I’m always happy to be a part of that experience and contribute whenever I can.

How to make your own superfood smoothies

•November 16, 2014 • Leave a Comment

superfood smoothiesThere are two things I learned from the health-conscious people around me that I’ve always wanted to try: a detoxifying cleanse and veggie smoothies. I tried a body cleanse in October 2014 and I hated it (you can check out the post I wrote about the experience here). Before the cleanse, I started a very healthy love affair with superfood smoothies (no pun intended) in July. Ever since, I’ve been creative with my smoothies and enjoying every sip. And you can do the same.

It took me a while to actually take the plunge and try a superfood smoothie. I have staple veggies I can’t get enough like spinach, kale, and carrots. But in general, I don’t like veggies. I’m a fruit gal. Secondly, I didn’t think I’d like the combined taste of raw veggies and fruits plus a mix of other ingredients in a liquid form. But once I put all that aside, I definitely wasn’t sorry when I prepared and had my first smoothie. I liked it instantly and I only wished I had tried it sooner.

And the interesting thing is I started my superfood smoothie journey while I was on vacation. It was an impromptu act with a family member, and I kept up with it daily for the whole two weeks I was on holiday. Who starts a ‘healthy’ diet while they’re on vacation? If anything, my healthy-eating habits normally go down the drain when I go on vacations. What can I say, I do things in reverse sometimes—and there’s something about an unplanned decision like this that’s secretly rewarding. It’s the kind of feel-good-feeling you might get if you suddenly decided to start a healthy lifestyle in October and maintain it throughout the Christmas holidays instead of starting it AFTER the holidays like you had originally planned.

Rambling aside, you should consider these three things before you make your first glass of superfood smoothie:

  • Use healthy, whole foods ingredients that are in their most natural state instead of processed ingredients (for example, raw almonds instead of roasted, salted almonds).
  • Invest in good equipment. From a blender to measuring cups, make sure you have the right smoothie equipment you need. It could be the difference between having to chew half of your superfood smoothie because your blender doesn’t have a strong setting that can grind/blend to pure smoothness all the ingredients you dump in it.
  • Consider incorporating superfood smoothies into your diet. You can have a healthy smoothie more regularly as part of a healthy lifestyle regimen or just something you enjoy every once in a while.

Now let’s get started.superfood smoothies

Some people are very specific about the order in which they put their smoothie ingredients into the blender. I’m not one of those people. Here are the things you’ll need for your superfood smoothie.

Equipment: Get all your equipment together and ready to make the smoother such as a blender, measuring cups, and all the ingredients you’ll be using.

Liquid: I often use only water and sometimes water plus coconut milk. You can try other options like almond, flax, hemp milk or even cooled tea. Measure whichever liquid you choose and pour it into the blender.

Superfoods: Flaxseeds is a staple ingredient in my smoothies. I like to buy it in bulk, blend a lot of it at a time and store it in a container for use when I’m making my smoothies or to sprinkle on a yogurt parfait and things like that. I also add to my smoothies raw nuts and seeds like pumpkin, sunflower and almond. I recently started to also add chia seeds and I’m getting used to the taste it adds. You can try other superfoods like acai and goji berries or plain cocoa powder.

Veggies: Spinach and kale are my go-to veggies. I could eat them all day no matter how you prepare them. You could also try arugula, romaine, collards or Swiss chard.

(Frozen) fruits: I love berries! I buy a bag (about 1.75-2 kg) of frozen berries and it normally lasts me a whole month. I don’t need to use a whole lot each time I make a smoothie because my superfood smoothie is packed with many other ingredients. Sometimes, I add a banana or an avocado too. If you don’t want to buy a frozen fruits bag with preselected fruits, you can buy the fruits you like individually (mangoes, peaches, cherries), dice them if/as needed, toss them in one big or smaller Ziploc bags, and store in the freezer for use. Viola, you’ve got your homemade frozen fruits.

Protein powder: I haven’t been adding protein powder to my smoothies but I think I’m going to start doing so for exercise purposes. I’m working out three days a week this winter and adding protein powder to my smoothie would be a good way to help out my body. Also, protein powder is good for thickening a smoothie, making it creamier.

Ice: I normally don’t add ice to my smoothie because I don’t like cold drinks, especially in the winter. But if you like ice, you could try something other than water ice cubes. Instead, freeze almond or coconut milk in ice cube trays and use those.

How to blend a smoothie

Depending on the kind of blender you use, it may not matter how you blend. I don’t have one of those high-end smoothie blenders. I use a regular one instead and I find that my smoothie is more consistent and I’m not chewing un-grind seeds or leafy greens when I start from low to high (my blender has numbers 6 through 10, 6 being the weakest and 10 the strongest). I press #6 for about a minute, #7 for about half a minute and #10 for another one minute. That often does it.

I hope this blog post helps you out if you’re considering trying a superfood smoothie or if you’re looking for ways to boost your current superfood smoothies recipes. Remember, you can get creative and change up the ingredients however you like. At the end of the day, you’re the one drinking it, so make sure it’s a darn good smoothie you can put up your feet or curl up to while enjoying every little sip.

My top 3 cost-effective protective hairstyles for the winter months

•November 9, 2014 • Leave a Comment

protective hairstyles, natural hair

To me, winter equals hibernation. I become a homebody and stay indoors as much as possible. The same goes for my natural hair, I tuck it away nicely to keep it from extreme conditions during the winter months. My hair isn’t brave enough to withstand the cold, harsh weather here in Edmonton and cracks at the first sign of the frosty season. I’ve known that about my hair for a long time, and that’s why I like to do protective hairstyles to keep it nice and warm and rested during the winter.

I mostly wear my hair in extension braids throughout the winter to hide it from the cold. And I really love the fact that wearing braids 1) gives my hair a rest from products and my hands always working on it; and 2) is actually one of the best ways to grow my hair. The extensions pretty much wrap around my hair, thus protecting it from the harsh environment—wind, snow, ice, pollution and all those other stressors that dry out, weaken and harm my hair. Who doesn’t want to protect their hair from the elements and give the poor thing a break from combing, brushing or pulling

If you can’t imagine wearing protect hairstyles for weeks or months straight, think of it this way: HAIR + REST + PROTECTION = LENGTH + STRENGTH!

I highly recommend doing protective hairstyles all winter long. And if you’re using extension braids, I suggest taking a week or so in between each style to let your hair breathe before you wear a protective style again. Depending, I wear my protective hairstyles for a while.

  • Braids with extensions: 2-4 months
  • Two-strand twists: 2-3 weeks
  • Cornrows with or without extensions: 3+ weeks

There are so many protective hairstyles that help keep natural hair safe, healthy and happy in the winter. Here are some of the ones I like, and you can count on them to protect your precious hair from the harsh winter elements, help it rest and grow, and best of all, give YOU a break from having to do it all the time!

  1. Braids with extensions

You might also like Havana twists (my fave)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ehhRD0KYj2Y

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_kM6oa2NU7U

  1. Two-strand twists

Other resources

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zj2RgSoDHt8

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mw5bMgVqjmk

  1. Cornrows with or without extensions

Other resources

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tX47mIjooHo

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kgorfY_OPAc

What protective hairstyles do you like to wear during the winter months? How do you protect your hair in the winter?

My review of bridal shops in Edmonton

•November 2, 2014 • Leave a Comment

I’m getting married next summer and I’m super stoked. We started planning the wedding a few months ago and things are going great. The major things we wanted to knock off our to-do list first were: the ceremony and reception venues, foods, and my wedding dress. Shopping for a wedding dress in Edmonton really made me realize how the quality of ‘customer service’ in general has gone down the drain over the years. I’m rating the stores where I shopped for my wedding dress in Edmonton based on two things: customer service and their process.

When it comes to shopping, I often know exactly what I want and I’m very decisive about making a final decision. Because I value my time very much and I don’t like to waste other people’s time either, I researched and made a list of 11 bridal shops in Edmonton that I wanted to check out. I also made a list of criteria for my wedding dress to help the shopping process move along smoothly so I’m not wasting anyone’s time and vice-versa. Here’s a list of the stores I went to and my criteria.

Store Criteria
ABC Bridal
  • $800-$1,500
  • Sexy back
  • Fitted
  • Lace
  • Long

Dislikes:

  • Studs or jewels/blingy/shiny
  • One shoulder
Bridal Debut
Career Girl Bridal
Crystal’s Bridal
David’s Bridal
Delica Bridal
Gemini Bridal
Novella Bridal Shop
Pure Bridal
The Bridal Boutique
The Bridal & Tuxedo House

The most important criteria to me was ‘sexy back’. I wanted a sexy back wedding dress not just any type of ‘open back’ wedding dress. And I made sure to let the staff at each store know that. Here are my ratings based on each store’s customer service and process for soon-to-be brides looking for their dress, ‘the one’.

ABC Bridal
Customer Service: 8
Process: 3
When I make an appointment for something and you book me in for a specific time slot, I expect that to mean something. It was like a zoo when I got to ABC Bridal. There were several soon-to-be brides everywhere and bridesmaids who were also looking for dresses. The staff that gave me pins to put on any dress I liked so they can bring that dress for me to try on. But the space was just one open area with a few dress racks. I was almost bumping into people trying to maneuver around them just so I could see if there was anything I wanted to pin. I tried on about 7 dresses at that store and I really liked 2 of them. But I had no intention of going back because they didn’t listen to my needs and their process was scatterbrain. My expectation was that I’d have a face time with a staff to tell them my criteria, and they’d put anything that fits those criteria in a fitting room for me. Not me having to sift through wedding dresses at the same time as a bunch of other shoppers, trying not to trample anyone. ABC Bridal didn’t take the time to even listen to me or find out about my criteria or needs.

Bridal Debut
I didn’t get to go to this store because I had already found the wedding dress I wanted before my appointment with Bridal Debut. 

Career Girl Bridal
Customer Service: 10
Process: 10
When I got there, I chatted about my criteria with the staff who was helping me. She took that information and pulled two dresses for me. She then pointed to the racks that were within my budget and asked me to look around to see if I liked anything else. I browsed through the racks quickly and chose one. I tried on the 3 dresses and liked 1 very much. Within 25 minutes, I was out of the store and I had information about next steps. That’s how I like to shop. And the best part, Career Girl Bridal wasn’t like a zoo of soon-to-be brides and bridesmaids hunting for dresses. It was just me and another customer.

Crystal’s Bridal
Customer Service: 10
Process: 10
The young ladies that helped me when I went to Crystal’s Bridal were so nice, I wanted to buy everything in the store. Their process was similar to Career Girl Bridal. I filled out a form about my criteria, style and budget then we reviewed the form together. They were honest with me that they didn’t have sexy back wedding dresses. They showed me a few open back wedding dresses instead and asked me to look around to see if I liked anything else instead. I didn’t find anything I liked, but I really appreciated their honestly and attentiveness. Also, I was about 30 minutes early for my appointment and they helped me right away. It was just me and one other customer who was in the middle of her fitting when I got there. I was in and out of the store within 15 minutes. That’s the kind of efficiency I like.

David’s Bridal
Customer Service: 9
No one acknowledged me for a while me I arrived for my appointment.
Process: 10
When I got there, the receptionist gave me a tablet and explained their process. Off with the tablet I went, checking boxes to select the dresses I wanted to try on. Once I was done, a staff took the tablet and went to pull the dresses I had chosen. She helped me out as I tried on the dresses. Sadly, I didn’t like any of the dresses they had in store. When I had looked online prior to my appointment, I had at least 10 options I was really pumped about, but they didn’t have those in David’s Bridal stores in Canada, only in the States. That was a bummer, but it also meant I didn’t have to waste my time in the store. So I was gone within 30 minutes.

Delica Bridal
I didn’t get to go to this store because I had already found the wedding dress I wanted before my appointment with Delica Bridal.

Gemini Bridal
Customer Service: 2
Process: 2
I will NEVER go to this store again for anything. Gemini Bridal had the worst customer service of all the Edmonton bridal shops I went to. While at the store, I told the young lady about my criteria and I also gave her the details of the 3 dresses I liked on their website prior to my appointment. Still, they made we use their in-store computer (which was very slow), browse their catalogue, and write the details down again on a piece of paper the older lady gave me…and they expected me to have a pen. When I got a pen from her, I went through the dresses on their slow website and jotted down details of the ones I liked. She came back to look at my list and then told me that they didn’t have 3 of the dresses I selected. Not waiting for my reply, she left to pull the 1 or 2 that they did have. I sat down by the fitting room watching High School girls try on prom dresses with their families. It took the older lady about 30 minutes to pull just 2 wedding dresses. Just when I was about to leave because I was tired of sitting around waiting, she came back with just one. I don’t know why, but I tried it on anyway knowing clearly I wasn’t too excited about the dress. Then I left. That’s over 30 minutes of my life I’ll never get back and I blame myself. Having looked at their website, I knew the store didn’t have as many wedding dresses as most bridal stores in Edmonton, but I wanted to give it a chance any way. I wasn’t expecting such horrible customer service. Though it wasn’t as bad a this second time, their customer service was awefule two years ago when I got my bridesmaids dress for a friend’s wedding from them. NEVER again, I can’t waste my time a third time with that store.

Novella Bridal Shop
Customer Service: 9
Process:10
It was just me and another bridal party when I showed up for my appointment. I was escorted into a private area where I had a chat about my criteria and budget with the staff that was helping me. She let me know right away they didn’t have something that totally fit my criteria and budget. But the both of us looked through the racks that fit my budget trying to find something. She insinuated that I was picky, and I told her straight up that I absolutely am and that it was totally OK they couldn’t meet my needs. I was out of the store in 15 minutes if not less.

Pure Bridal
Customer Service: 10
I was acknowledged as soon as I walked in. The pregnant lady that helped me was so sweet, personable and attentive that I just wanted to hug her to pieces.
Process: 10
I was escorted into a private section to chat with the lady about my needs. I told her about my criteria and budget. She made some recommendations when I told her it was a beach wedding and off she went to bring wedding dresses that met my criteria and budget. I tried on about 5 dresses and fell in love with 1, which ended up making my top three list of sexy back wedding dresses. The lady encouraged me to try on the dress again after I finished trying on the other ones she brought. I loved the dress even more the second time I put it on. When we finished, we talked about the next steps. I was out of the store within 30 minutes.

wedding dresses Edmonton

Choice #2 – Pure Bridal

The Bridal Boutique
Customer Service: 10

Process: 10
The store is a little tight but I was still able to have a good conversation about my criteria and budget with the staff what was helping me. Having browsed their website prior to my appointment, I told her the dresses I wanted to try on and she brought the ones they had in store. I tried on about 3 dresses and loved 1 that ended up making my list of top three wedding gowns. Even though the store was tiny and busy when I went, I received the help I needed. I left the store within 20 minutes.

wedding gowns Edmonton

Choice #3 – The Bridal Boutique

The Bridal & Tuxedo House
Customer Service: 6
I interacted with three staff members when I went to this place, and one of them is the reason I’m giving The Bridal & Tuxedo House a 7 instead of 10. She had a condescending, standoffish attitude and made me feel that my budget was unreasonable, as if she’s the one who earns my money for me and can tell me how to spend it. Even worse, she interrupted me each time. Later on, she tried to improve her behaviour once she noticed I was giving my attention to another staff who was also helping me. I was so disappointed that I tweeted about it—and the store tweeted me back to give them a call. I didn’t. #TooLate. I knew before I left the store that I wasn’t going to shop there again.
Process: 9
Like most of the bridal stores I went to, I let the staff know about my criteria and they pulled a few dresses for me to try on. They didn’t have in the store most of the styles I saw on their website and wanted to try on. Once she decided to get over herself, the ‘staff with bad attitude’ brought me a dress that I really liked but it was over my budget.

Even after visiting several bridal stores, I couldn’t get the one dress I liked at Career Girl Bridal out of my mind. So I ended up buying it on my next visit when I only intended to show it to a friend.

What I learned from my 10-day cleanse

•October 26, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Call me lame but I like to try things that get me out of my comfort zone, no matter how big or small—or sometimes, stupid—the thing is. Something I tried recently that’s outside of my comfort level is body cleansing.

Now, before I tell you about my cleansing experience, know that I eat a lot. That’s challenge #1 I took on when I started the strict-eating detox cleanse. I’m constantly eating throughout the day (meals, snacks and everything else in between), and I can clean up an overly loaded plate of rice and stew like no man’s business. Mind you, I do eat healthy. Secondly (and the ultimate challenge) was discipline. I’ve never in my life had to follow a rigid eating structure. Thirdly, I have no interest in anything remotely close to cleansing like fasting, dieting or giving up something for lent—I dislike any form of starvation. But I didn’t want to knock detoxifying cleanses until I tried one.

I thought the 10-day Clear Change Metabolic Detoxification program by Metagenics would be a good one to try, even though I think detoxifying diets are a waste of time and money, and there’s no clinical proof they’re effective. But remember, I’m lame, I find it fun to challenge myself in weird ways like this.

This is what I learned:

  • Buying the cleanse package can be expensive. I bought the “Firstline Therapy Clear Change 10-Day Program” for $125. The program is developed by Metagenics and I bought it through my naturopathic doctor. I’ve heard of cleanses that cost less and also some that cost more. I contemplated returning the stuff before I finally did the detox cleanse.
  • Grocery shopping for the ‘recommended’ ingredients and foods can be expense. The ingredients and foods I needed for my first day cost me $36. When I lived alone, I got by just fine on a $150 monthly grocery budget. Imagine spending $36 of it on just one day’s meals.
  • Grocery shopping for the ingredients and foods can be annoying and inconvenient. It was annoying for me because I wanted to buy my vegetables and fish fresh each day. This meant going to the store every day, which is inconvenient. One time, I forgot to stop at the grocery store on my way home from work and ended up having to go back out after I had already gotten home.
  • Figuring out what ingredients to buy can be frustrating. I normally stick to my usual brands when I grocery shop that by now I know exactly what to get without having to think at all. But some of the things I had to buy during this body detoxification were things I didn’t buy at all or not regularly. So I was overwhelmed by the number of choices (types and brands) for one single item, like raisings. It was frustrating to choose between the different types of an item, especially when the cleanse program guide didn’t specify the type I needd.
  • My body didn’t feel any different during the detoxification or a few days after before I fully got back to my regular diet. I mean if you want to get down to the details, my urine was green and I did #2 a bit more often. That was about it. I didn’t feel any different physically, mentally or spiritually.
  • I was hungry often. Not because I wasn’t eating enough. That’s actually one thing I liked about the cleanse diet—you could eat as much of the ‘recommended foods’ as possible. I was often hungry because it took me longer to prepare meals. I’d have my meal or a shake or a snack just before leaving work, but I was starving by the time I’d stop by the grocery store on my way home, cook and actually sit down to eat. That process took time and energy and delayed when I ended up eating dinner. I was cooking everyday instead of a day or two in advance like I normally do.
  • I felt cheated when I ran out of the ‘nutritional beverage’ mix I needed for my shakes—and I still had a day to go that required two scoops of the mix three times a day. This was upsetting because I measured each scoop as was recommended so I’m not sure how I could’ve run out.
  • The ‘nutritional beverage’ and ‘dietary supplements’ tasted horrible.
  • My taste pallets totally changed. This is the only good thing I noticed about my detoxifying diet. The detoxifying diet consisted of mostly salads and raw or slightly cooked vegetables with minimum condiments. I normally don’t eat salads and I often sauté or cook my vegetables with seasonings and such. My taste buds adjusted fewer condiments in my foods. During the cleanse regimen, I used only extra virgin olive oil (evoo) and vinegar on my salads and evoo and tiny amount of salt (for taste) on my vegetables. I got used to the salads and raw vegetables that I even craved them at times.

I already knew some of these things and didn’t have to put myself through 10 days of starvation to figure them out.

The detoxifying treatment gave me a chance to: 1) introduce healthy fresh whole foods to my diet like salads and raw vegetables; and 2) train my palate to have a taste for foods in their most natural state. Even so, I don’t think I’ll do another cleanse again. It’s weird for me to starve myself for any number of days—I’m too much of a little miss piggy for that. My body is designed to naturally cleanse out my system, especially if I take good care of myself by eating healthy (vegetables, fruits and drinking a lot of water). I’ll let it do its job.

 
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