December 17, 2016

What Have You Done For YOU Lately?

Photo by CreateHerStock

At the beginning of the year I made a pact with myself to be more intentional about practicing self-care. It's an absolute necessity not only for my physical well-being, but more importantly for my mental health.

There is the obvious narrative of those who work too hard - women, millennials, under employed, over worked, underpaid, never a moment to catch a breath etcetera etcetera. The physical tolls of hard labor, long work hours, little to no sleep, poor diet, and sometimes completely forgetting to eat. We are clear on the physical tolls the desire to survive takes on the body. And while we are becoming more open about the invisible strain that is often par for the course, I believe we still have a long way to go with how we receive and react to openness about mental health issues and struggles in certain communities.

This is not a finger pointing post, and I intend to go into more detail about my own personal experiences at some other time. My intent for this post (and others to follow) in #theselfcareseries is to share small rituals or practices that help restore me either physically, mentally, spiritually or some other -ly. Lol.

The hardest bit is being consistent with the practice of self care. I certainly haven't been consistent, but I can give myself credit for being more conscious of when the need to take a moment to reset, restore, remove myself, or recuperate was necessary.

For some of us it's about too little time or too little energy after the exhaustion of a work week. But for all of us it's ultimately about seeing ourselves as worth the time and effort. It's about valuing ourselves enough to say, "I need to pour into me so that I can give my best self to my life, my work, my family... myself."

What I hope resonates over time with this series is that acts of self care are a way to practice and build self-love. And self-love isn't always about some grand expensive gesture like a spa day or vacation ( ballin' on a budget, anyone?) Sometimes it's as simple as reading your favorite book again for the umpteenth time, locking the bathroom door so your toddlers can't interrupt your few precious minutes of solitude while taking a shit, or netflix and chillin' by yoself in yo robe with your favorite beverage.


As I'm laying here typing this I'm struggling with feeling like I haven't been treating myself well. It's the end of the year and my diet has been shit the past few weeks, I've been battling with insomnia for over a month, there's a tangled and matted afro at the base of my locs, my anxiety is too damn high, and I really need to do some laundry. 

So today, I'm going to rededicate my Saturday to grooming: I'm tackling my hair and my really involved skin care regimen (yes, even more involved than the one I just posted). 

At this point I want to offer to you, whoever needs the reminder, that you don't need to feel guilty for feeling better when you think you look better. Society sends conflicting messages, asking us to "always look our best" in order for people to take us seriously, or respect us, while calling us vain, shallow or self involved for dedicating time to our looks, aesthetic, or physical presentation, and deriving any pleasure or sense of self from the aforementioned. You can't win, so I say fuck em and do what nourishes your wholeness.

It's currently 5:45 am as I type. I've been up since 3:20 am because insomnia. So I'm going to go ahead and carpe my diem by tackling this mess on my head, and in my head. Join me. 

What are you going to do today to take care of yourself? What have you done for *you* lately?

December 13, 2016

My Current Skin Care Routine for Acne Prone Skin (and Changing Weather)

This post is not sponsored, however it may contain affiliate links. I may gain a commission if you shop through these links. These views and opinions are my own and I will always give an honest review. 

Hey Love!

Are we ready for the holidays? I'm not! My sweet tooth and love of salty snacks are currently in a fierce battle, and have been even prior to thanksgiving (aka the "Inflate" setting has been on since November); I have done absolutely NO shopping as yet, which doesn't matter anyway because I have no clue what I'm getting these folk, and I just mourn every year how much of the joy I used to feel at Christmas time has evaporated.

But nothing a little Dolly Parton & Kenny Rogers, Boyz II Men, and Songs of Blackness can't fix amirite??? Comment below with your favorite holiday song! Maybe we have some in common!

Any who! Today's post *and* video is actually about my skin care routine. I get compliments on my skin ever so often, and I still struggle to accept these compliments because, believe it or not, I've been fighting acne for the majority of my life. I have finally reached a place where I feel my skin is manageble. Finally! And it hasn't been easy, and I've had to make plenty tweaks, adjustments and complete 180's along the way in terms of methods and products.

I make changes and adjustments for weather and skin concerns, however what I share in this post and video today is the routine that I've stuck to for the past few months with what I think are good results. This is basically the routine I've been using since April. However I'd say this routine has been in effect since September since that's when I returned to the US from Barbados. The climate there is quite different, in addition to which there are natural things there that I included in my regimen that are not readily available to me here e.g. sea baths/sea water (although I could make my own with store bought sea salt😕), humidity, fresh aloe, hot ass sun, and my grandfather's bush tea and bitters.

I highly recommend watching the video as I talk about WHEN and HOW I use these products. The blog post, however, will cover the benefits I've experienced from using the products more in depth, and what they are supposed to address (the WHY). At first glance my routine may seem intense and complicated but it has become second nature to me. When you've struggled to get into a skin care groove, a basic/foundational routine that you can build upon is truly a gift. So read along here as you watch the video!



  •  CLEAN YOUR HANDS.... WITH SOAP! This is my typical morning skin care routine so no matter what comes before, I make sure my hands are clean in preparation for placing them on my face. If you inadvertently scratch your booty in your sleep this is even more important for you. No judgement... I'm just sayin'! Inadvertently touching your face with dirty hands can lead to break outs and acne. I tend to fixate on pimples when I'm stressed, so I make an effort to never touch my face unless my hands have been immediately cleaned. This has been an underrated but very successful practice.
  • My custom oil cleansing face oil has been a part of my regimen since 2013/14. Initially I used it solely for oil cleansing when nothing else worked to treat a terrible bout of birth control related acne. However, I continue to use it in my routine to prep my skin before cleansing, a part of my make up removal process, and sometimes as a night time moisturizer. The ingredients in this oil have helped to accelerate healing of my acne blemishes, and has also improved the texture and tone of my skin. Not to mention it has aided in the regrowth of my edges over months of sustained use. I tweak the recipe depending on season and skin needs.

November 25, 2016

THIS WEEKEND ONLY: ALL THE DISCOUNTS!



WE. ARE. BACK AT IT AGAIN WITH THE JEWELS! Short and sweet, here's all the info you need for a weekend at House of La NomRah :

BLACK FRIDAY: 
The code 'BLKFRIDAY' will get you 25% off ANY PURCHASE at La NomRah Designs

SATURDAY & SUNDAY: 
For $5 off purchases of $25 or more use the code 'GIMME5'
For $10 off purchases of $50 or more use the code 'TAKE10'
*** These codes are valid through Monday

CYBER MONDAY:
The code '8BITLUV' gets you 205 off a purchase of $20 or more.


Peace & Love,
Nik

November 24, 2016

How I Deep Condition My Waist Length Locs


This post is not sponsored, however it may contain affiliate links. I may gain a commission if you shop through these links. These views and opinions are my own and I will always give an honest review.

Hey Loves,

What's crackalackin'! Last week I showed you my easy peezy DIY recipe for an Avocado Protein Deep Conditioner Treatment. If you missed it, click here for the video of how I whip up this hair smoothie, and a detailed recipe and instructions.

Today I'm sharing details on my application and results of this deep conditioner. You can watch the video, read this post, or both! Whatever you do, leave a comment and let me know if you will try or have tried a treatment like this!

  • Application Prep:

First, I shampooed my hair (I recommend a minimum of two shampoos) with OGX Awapuhi Ginger Shampoo. You don't have to go out and buy this shampoo, it's just one that I had on hand and decided to try. I didn't find it life changing, but it did the job and smells quite nice. For a deep clean I made sure to really get in there with my fingers and work the scalp and the roots (where buildup tends to occur). The first shampoo is always a doozy due to oils and build up in the hair, but the second time around you should get a really nice lather. If your hair is as long as mine (waist length or longer) you may find that two shampoos aren't enough because of oils and build up in the length of the locs. So 3's often the charm.

After rinsing, I applied a Garnier Fructis Anti-dandruff Shampoo to my scalp *only*, and massaged that in until I had a nice lather. I use the Mint Cleanse version which I like, but generally find too drying for my hair so I keep it focused on the scalp. However, Garnier also makes a version of this shampoo for dry scalp (I had no idea) that I may have to try when I run out. I also focus on the scalp because this shampoo has fine microbeads that I'm weary of getting into my locs. Disclaimer: I've had this shampoo a while. The way I use it a little goes a long way, so I'm not sure if newer versions of this shampoo contain these microbeads.


  • Application:

The shorter your hair the easier, and less messy this application will be. I divided my hair into 4 sections to make application more manageable. With each section I worked with, I first divided it into two parts and applied the avocado treatment from the ends of the hair to the roots. In hindsight it probably would've been smarter for me to start from the roots. I only say that because I almost ran out  and literally scraped the bowl to have enough to apply to my roots in the last section. Despite this little moment of panic though, it worked out. I started at my ends because that"s where my hair was driest and I just wanted to bring my ends back to life.

When I was done I two-strand twisted, then wrapped each section up into a bun, ultimately ending up with 8 buns (looking like a hot mess smh) although 4 would have been ideal. Once my buns were secure I then put a plastic bag over my head and secured. Yes... a plastic bag (Tarjay, you da best *DJ Khaled voice*). Don't judge me. Reuse, Reduce, Recycle #nshit. Plus, I haven't found a shower cap that adequately covers all of my hair. YOU can however do you and use a shower cap. Whatever works! Next I wrapped a head wrap/scarf around my head just to absorb any liquid that leaked from my DIY shower cap set up.

Now ideally, letting this mixture sit in the hair  for a minimum of 30 minutes should do the job to see some results. You could even add a heating/steam cap to really help this treatment penetrate even more effectively. I was aiming for 4 hours because a) I don't have naan heating cap b) I had ish to do while this DC was percolating... BUT I also knew that is was damn near 6 pm by the time I had finished applying; I was tiahd! I took care of some chores and just went to rest my eyes a bit. Well when I woke up it was Tomorrow 😭... yes, the next day.

Look, I just went ahead and rinsed my hair out really well in the shower. You can't cry over spilled milk.  I ran very warm water (DO NOT BURN YOURSELF then come back to this blog to yell at me in all caps! Use your discretion!), and used that washing motion that grandma teaches you so you know how to wash your clothes by hand to work the conditioner out of my locs. If you don't have locs this may not be necessary, but if you do you want to ensure that you rinse this out thoroughly.

After rinsing out the DC completely I applied  Creme of Nature's Argan Oil Pure-Licious Co-Wash Cleansing Conditioner to my hair. This co-wash is free of sulphates, parabens, mineral oil, and petrolatum, and it was perfect so as not to strip the hair of all the moisture I'd just put in.


  • Results:

My hair felt soft, rejuvenated and moisturized. Prior to this treatment I was experiencing dullness and dryness, and while this obviously is not a one time fix-all remedy, there was a noticeable difference with my hair. There was definitely more shine, and what I refer to as slip with my hair. A better term would probably be increased smoothness. I'm going to try this treatment again soon to see if I get similar results.

Unfortunately I did not retwist/re-loc my hair this time around, I just let my loc-fro do it's thing... something I'm sure I will regret next retwist time because I did not pull these babies apart while they were free. Le sigh.

I hope this post was helpful! Leave a comment and make sure to Subscribe to my Youtube channel so you don't miss a video!

Peace!
Nik

OGX Awapuhi Ginger Shampoo: http://amzn.to/2gx8kIq
Garnier Fructis Anti-dandruff Shampoo: http://amzn.to/2f1z9DW
Creme of Nature w/ Argan Oil Pure-licious Co-Wash Cleansing Conditioner: http://amzn.to/2gfF2v8




November 12, 2016

DIY AVOCADO PROTEIN DEEP CONDITIONER RECIPE pt. 1

This post is not sponsored, however it may contain affiliate links. I may gain a commission if you shop through these links. These views and opinions are my own and I will always give an honest review.


Originally I called this recipe Avocado Pudding Deep Conditioner, then I thought "no, Avocado Smoothie sounds better. However for the sake of not misleading the interwebs, and then having people lament in the comments about this not being an edible recipe, I decided to keep it simple and obvious. 


Now if you decide to only work with the edible ingredients below, you'll actually have the base for a delicious avocado (salad) dressing or a dipping sauce. All you'll need to do is add some herbs, spices, and S&P.
 Image from http://imgur.com/gallery/AZoRxSp
Photo Credit: http://imgur.com/gallery/AZoRxSp
 But that's not why you're here, is it? 

This week I'm sharing this deep conditioner recipe because there's no avocado I know of that deserves to die a dumpster death. Basically, I went on a weekend trip, forgot about this avocado and it was way too soft and too ripe to make for good... anything that needs to be tasted by the time I got back.  So I harkened back to the days before my locs could be put into a ponytail - when all I'd do is play in my hair with endless products and whipped up concoctions.

This recipe is similar to a number of recipes I've tried previously, and avocado is a major key🔑here. This is something you learn after trying this recipe with banana. Spoiler alert! Banana really likes setting up house and home in your locs if you're not careful. If you've got locs... Don't do it! Please don't do it! *Drake voice*
Avocado Protein Deep Conditioner by LaNomRah

Here are the benefits of the ingredients I used in this recipe:

September 23, 2016

How Hurt & Pain Taught Me To Trust Myself




How Hurt & Pain Taught Me To Trust Myself

We must remind ourselves that we know ourselves best, and as such we are fully capable of making the best decisions for ourselves. When the Universe supports us, and everything falls into place for us to move forward in our best interests, while it is normal to experience doubt, it certainly isn't necessary to act on or entertain that doubt.

I'm someone who truly believes that sometimes saying yes to something/or someone means you're  saying No to yourself. In this vein, I'm also of the belief that sometimes giving the benefit of the doubt is of no benefit to the giver.


Someone is probably reading this and thinking how selfish this sounds. 

What would the world be without second chances? Forgiveness? People who give the benefit of the doubt?

Your point may be valid. 

As a woman though, I'm very conscious of the immense pressure I once felt to put others' needs before mine, and not offend or upset others. This is a pressure that I continue to experience, though it shrinks the older and wiser I become. My point here is that these social graces we extend sometimes are not truly of our own choosing, but due to culture, social norms, gender roles, familial obligations, and the pressure we feel to make certain decisions because of these things.

When I speak about reconsidering "the benefit of the doubt", I'm not talking about people or situations that deserve a second chance.

I'm talking about instances where we expend a significant amount of time, energy and effort trying to make a decision about a situation or relationship that is just plain bad for us, or no longer good for us. It is precisely because we've cared, loved, and invested time, that we do not make this decision easily nor lightly. It is because of this care and love, and the joy and happiness that we may have once experienced, that when it's no longer good, it's really bad. 

And sometimes it's just bad because it is. 

Sometimes people change - their values, wants and needs change. Sometimes the way people express these things cause real harm  - both visible and invisible. Some of us stick around hoping that time will resolve or dissolve the differences. All the while incurring the cost of this empty hope.

What ends up happening is that in the "Benefit of the Doubt" equation, the giver is left to manage the doubt, which is inevitably to the benefit of the person or situation that we'd removed ourselves from once before. Managing the doubt may then leave us grappling with questions of self-worth, bruises to our self-esteem, and may even go as far as to affect our mental, physical or spiritual health.

Sometimes we do get away. We get away but don't necessarily stop loving or caring or imagining what a life would be like with this person, or reminiscing about how great it felt when we had lovely experiences.

And though we move on, sometimes we forget what that particular hurt felt like. What it did to us. How  our flame was almost extinguished. How we almost lost ourselves for good. How unrecognizable we were when we finally looked in the mirror to see what that time had done to us.

The point of all this is to remind you that that the pain has a purpose.



None of this is easy. We make mistakes, relapse, and return to the familiar. When we do, each time the pain gets worse, and the lesson we're supposed to learn gets tougher as it nudges us to trust the decision we made the first time.

If for no other reason, let the pain remind you that you did the right thing. It is ultimately a test of whether you trust yourself enough to stand by your decision. You knew what was best for you then, and you do now.

Can you relate? Let me know in the comments!

Peace & Love,
Nik

May 30, 2016

Trash To Treasure: How To Give An Old Pair of Earrings a New Life, Part 1




This post is not sponsored, however it may contain affiliate links. I may gain a commission if you shop through these links. These views and opinions are my own and I will always give an honest review.

Hey Lovelies!

Today I'll be showing you how to upgrade & recycle (Upcycle) a pair of old tarnished hoops into a brand new colorful pair. This is part one of a series I'll be calling Trash to Treasure, where I'll be showing you how I upgrade, repurpose, reuse, and recycle different items and give them a second life.

If you were familiar with my Etsy store, you may or may not remember a style I sold called the Devi Hoop aka the Goddess Hoop. I created the Devi Hoop for my clients (with brand new earrings, OBVS!) using the method I'm about to share with you as the first step in the process.

I'm sharing this method because it's actually a great way to bring new life to your favorite basic hoop earrings. Every girl has a pair! And if you don't, you need to get you some.

May 5, 2016

QUICK & EASY LOC STYLE TUTORIAL: LOC TURBAN

This post is not sponsored, however it may contain affiliate links. I may gain a commission if you shop through these links. These views and opinions are my own and I will always give an honest review.


Hi lovelies,

I'm back again with another loc style tutorial. Today I'm sharing a quick and easy style I call the Loc Turban. This has recently become my favorite go to style for a number of reasons:

  1. It's quick and very easy. This style takes under 10 minutes once you get the hang of it. It may take more time or be more challenging depending on how familiar you are with the style, the length of your hair, the number of locs or braids you have, and the thickness of your hair.
  2. It's versatile. This style can be worn for more modest occasions and events, and is also perfect for a casual look or glam dressing up, all you have to do is accessorize appropriately. And to top it all off, each time you create this style it will look different! I promise that's a good thing - watch the video to see what I mean.
  3. It's a great protective style. In my opinion, the loc turban is the perfect protective style for your protective style. As I mention in the video below, you can do this style on braided or two-strand twisted locs, or loose locs that haven't been twisted or braided at all.
  4. You don't need locs to achieve this style. This turban style can work well on other protective styles such as braids and twists with extensions. You may have to use pins depending on the smoothness of the hair used in your extensions.
  5. This is perfect for HOT weather. Once locs get past a certain length, summer months can become a bit of a challenge as we try to keep our hair off our necks and shoulders without repeating the same style over and over. I usually go for a messy top knot, or tying my hair high up in a turban. This is ok except the style repetition can lead to boredom, and also puts your hair(line) at risk by placing stress in the same areas. This style is a great alternative. 
  6. BONUS for "lazy" loc rockers, folks with busy schedules, and frequent vacationers:  First of all, by now you'll know that when I say "lazy" loc rocker, I'm including myself. As you'll hear me mention in the video, I washed & conditioned my hair *in* my twists the night before. This means that I did not have to take down and retwist my locs. Now my roots may have been fuzzier than some folks may find acceptable, but the loc turban conceals this well. If you swim a lot on vacation this could be a great style for you to rock while you enjoy yourself, and still get in a good (wash &) condish in between all your vacay adventures.



Have you tried this style before? Would you try this style in the future? I'm curious! Share your thoughts with me in the comments below.

Peace & Love,
NIK

April 26, 2016

How I Retwist My Locs + How I Style My Protective Style

This post is not sponsored, however it may contain affiliate links. I may gain a commission if you shop through these links. These views and opinions are my own and I will always give an honest review.


Hey dolls,

Today I’m finally going to share how I retwist my locs, and the products that I use to get the job done.  Disclaimer: this is my first video so please bear with me regarding the quality and editing. I’m sure that I’ll improve as time goes on but you know, we all gotta start some where.

There are pros and cons to DIY loc retwisting. The cons for me are that the more my hair grows, the longer the wash, condition and retwist process as well. Trust me when I tell you that it does not necessarily become less time consuming with practice… because MOOAARR HAIRRR! Lol. Sometimes I'm just not in the mood to tackle all this hair when I need to, but it ain't gonna wash, retwist, or style itself.

The pros for me outweigh the cons, especially when I’m in the mood to DImY.  I save money. I know what is being used on my hair and scalp. I honestly do not feel pressured to style or wash my hair every two weeks (when I’m not working out).  There's no one to get mad at but myself if my hair isn’t done the way I like, and because I don’t like being mad at myself… you see where I’m going with this. Maintaining my hair myself has also given me an intimate knowledge of my hair and what it needs from day to day. It's also been a learning experience. If I don't treat my hair with love, it wont be healthy and this will show - a lesson that applies to life in general.

I go as in depth and detailed as I possibly can (given my novice status with video editing). In this video I share:

🌸 My retwist method:  Spoiler alert: I palm roll! I get as detailed with this as I can, and I also share tips on how to minimize stress & tension on the hair which can lead to breakage.
🌸 My special retwist method for my edges: My method is not necessarily revolutionary, however I’ve found my method to help keep the strays in the loc and not flying everywhere (can we say edges laid). If you like gelling down your baby hairs I have to let you know right now, my method ain’t for you.
🌸 An easy protective style for locs, and a couple suggestions on how to style that protective style. IT’S A LOC STYLE INCEPTION!!!



Please bear in mind that this is how *I* reloc my hair.  This is what works for me and my type & texture hair. Watch the video and check out my product list.

Retwist Product List:
🔼Scunci Hair ties: http://amzn.to/1YQH8jn 
🔼Goody hair ties: http://amzn.to/1Ud6xon
🔼Large Hair clips: http://amzn.to/231G7GC
🔼Small Hair clips: http://amzn.to/1YQGYJ2
🔼Spray Bottle: http://amzn.to/1YQGToD
🔼Fruit of the Earth 100% Aloe Vera Gel: http://amzn.to/1YQHruA
🔼Nature’s Essential "My Everything" Oil: http://www.naturesessentialoils.net
🔼My homemade oil mixture: I'll do a post on this soon
Uneven Double Buns... Whatevs!

What’s your favorite product to use for retwisting? Leave a comment below.

*This post contains Amazon Affiliate links. This means that I'll earn commission if you purchase on Amazon through any of the links in this post. My reviews and recommendations are based on my honest opinion and experience.


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