Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Hi Friends!
I'm going to keep this post short and sweet. Today I'm searching for a Halloween costume, I'm sure I'll end up making this a DIY crafting project. Lol, what can I say, that's just my style.

I can't wait to raid pumpkin patches and the Halloween store on November 1st for cheap Halloween supplies. The wreath featured below is beloved by my boyfriend and my Mother so I have to gather more materials.

As we all know I love to craft and giving my crafts away. My boyfriend Mother has been on the receiving end on some of my most impressive projects like bottle cap picture magnets and my all-natural DIY bath baskets.

During the holiday season I wanted to make her something impressive that she could show off to the world.

I saw this wreath in a magazine and had to try it out. It was super simple, only took 15 minutes and is seriously the best wreath I've ever made.

I'm crossing my fingers it gets to her safely & intact. I also hope her reaction is parallel to everyone else.

Here we go!!

Corn Cob wreath

Cost: $25-$35
Skill Level: Beginner kid/boyfriend/husband friendly
Time: 15 minutes

What you need:

  • Medium sized hay wreath $8.99 purchased at Michael's
  • Glue gun & plenty of glue
  • Small dried Indian corn with husk 30-35 depending on size of your wreath $30 I found them at pumpkin patches for $.99 each and at whole foods 3 for $1.99

Directions:


Rearrange corn by size and color
Make sure to it mix up and prearranged corn onto wreath before your start gluing




Once you are happy with your design hot glue corn to wreath
Allow at least 5 minutes to fully dry
Hang and enjoy!

That was the easiest tutorial I've ever wrote!

That's it's today folks!
Peace & Love,
Mary

Corn Cob Wreath

Wednesday, October 29, 2014


Halloween is merely days away and you still haven't found time to decorate your humble abode. That's where I come in. I've been trying out different pumpkin tutorials, modifying, adding and subtracting step and materials until they are Evolve With Mary approved. 

All crafts are pumpkin based so you can leave them out in November creating a Thanksgiving theme. I staid away from creepy spooky designs because that's just not my style. I'm more of an ahhh how cute is that kind of person, I don't need to be scared, I'm already scared by everyday life. All crafts are inexpensive, pretty fast to create, kid/boyfriend/husband friendly and impressive when done. 

Lets dive into my tutorials!

Geometrical Spray Painted Pumpkins

Any excuse to purchase and use spray paint sign me up!
I saw a mosaic pumpkin design on pinterest and had to try it out for myself

Cost: $10-$15
Skill Level: Beginner, kid/husband/boyfriend approved 
Time: 1 hour including drying time 

What you need:
  • 1 or 2 medium to large pumpkin $2-$5 try to find a smooth pumpkin for this craft
  • Painters tape or masking tape $3.99
  • Garbage bag
  • Scissors
  • Black spray paint $5.99 I found mini cans of spray paint at Michael's they were so cute and cheap I also purchased gold paint
Directions:


Use scissors to cut tape into simple shapes
Take your time and cover most of your pumpkin with tape leaving some parts of the pumpkin exposed
Cover work surface with garbage bag or newspaper
Lean pumpkin on side and spray well, make sure to spray top and bottom of pumpkin
Allow 15-30 minutes to dry
Rotate pumpkin and spray with paint again, make sure to cover the entire pumpkin with spray paint
Allow 15-30 minutes to dry
Peel off masking tape
DONE!

Pumpkin Book

I purchased the books for the $.99 store

Cost: $10
Skill Level:Beginner, kid/husband/boyfriend approved 
Time: 1 hour

What you need:
  • 1-2 thick books $2
  • Scissors
  • Hot glue gun 
  • Exacto Knife $5.99
Directions

Take blank sheet of paper and fold it in half

Draw 1/2 of a pumpkin using the crease line as the edge
Cut pumpkin shape from piece of paper, this is your template 
*Pumpkin does not have to be perfect 
**Watch the size of your pumpkin, make sure it will fit the book ***Make bottom of pumpkin a little straight so pumpkin has a good base to sit on

Open book halfway and place paper pumpkin template on top
Center pumpkin template make sure it matches with binding of book *try to place template at top to leave room for stem of pumpkin 
Trace around pumpkin template with exacto knife
Carefully carve out one section of book into pumpkin shape ripping out cut pages as you go *don't try to be perfect, irregular cutting gives your pumpkin personality **you will only be able to cut a few pages at a time so take your time

Tear out pages as you go so you can see your progress
Once you are done with one side move to the other side, using your template cut out a pumpkin shape
Once pumpkin is all cut out add glue down cent of book binding and close the 2 halves together to make a pumpkin shape *I placed a rubber band on my book pumpkin to make the gluing process easier
Take your time and fluff your pumpkin 
All done


Glitter Pumpkin

These little pumpkins were easy to make and turned out super cute, even my boyfriend likes them 

Cost: $10
Skill Level:Beginner, kid/husband/boyfriend approved 
Time: 1 hour

What you need:
  • 2-3 mini pumpkins $5
  • Colored Glitter $3.99 each
  • Spoon
  • Clear drying glue - $3.99
  • Paint brush - $.99
  • Black garbage bag or old newspaper
  • Large piece of construction paper or craft paper

Direction:

Line work surface with garbage bag or newspaper

Place construction paper over lined work surface
Decided which pumpkin will get which glitter

Place small amount of glue on paint brush and brush a light layer of glue on section of pumpkin

Use spoon and sprinkle glitter over glue
Shake off any excess glitter and use construction paper to place glitter back into jar

Continue this process until entire pumpkin is covered
Make sure to shake off pumpkin when done
Allow 15-30 minutes to full dry
All done!!!


That's all today folks!
Peace & Love, 
Mary 

Quick Pumpkin Crafts

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Hi Friends!

Today is a wonderful day! I'm making cup cakes and decorating them with green fondant, hopefully they will look like sprouting plants. My nephew is turning 2 and I think these cupcakes would be perfect.

Enough about my cupcakes, today's post is about feeding your hair.

Growing up I wasted a lot of time curling, adjusting, flat ironing, washing and braiding my hair. Like most little girls I want to look good all the time and hair plays a big role in your appearance.

I started growing my dreadlocks roughly 7 years ago and it's been a wonderful insightful journey. Dreads tell a story, they are hard to maintain especially in the beginning stages. I endured over 2 years of the "ugly phase" where I had 100s of small spikes poking out of my head. That's how everyones dreads start out, an unattractive mess you have to disguise, hide, and suffer through for multiple months.  There is nothing pretty about this part of the dreadlock journey. It took about 2 years for my hair to grow a few more inches, then I looked as if I had been electrocuted, all of my 1-3 inch dreadlocks stood straight up on my head. Finally year 3 came around and they fell, I got to rock a cute bob for a while, this was around the time I met my current boyfriend.

As the years go by my dreads have gotten longer and longer, sexier and sexier. Now I'm 7 years in and I can't wait to see what they will look like in another 7 years. I get tons of compliments on my hair everywhere I go I'm bombarded with questions about how to wash and maintain them.





Check out my hair and weight evolution! 
It's crazy!


Hair is part of your identity. I envy the women who chop their hair off in a boyish cut. There is nothing sexier then a confident women with super short hair, in my opinion. I also love long, wavy, curled hair, the way hair flows and shines can be memorizing.


Hair Facts
  • Everyone losses up to 100 strains of hair a day, that's actually a normal rate of hair loss.
  • 40% of Americans who suffered from thinning hair are women
  • Hormonal change, genetics, and how frequently you use heat on your locks can cause hairs to fall out and thin at an accelerated pace.
  • Hair loss can cause psychological damage by feeling unattractive to people of the opposite sex
  • The American Hair Loss Association recognizes hair loss in women as a serious life altering condition
  • All hair loss in both men and women is a symptom of something else that's gone wrong in your body

Vitamins that stimulate hair growth:
Vitamin C - Improves circulation of the scalp - found in citrus fruits like oranges, limes and lemons

Vitamin B
- Strengths hair and promotes overall health found in whole grains, potatoes, bananas, lentils, chili peppers, beans, yeast and molasses



Vitamin E - An Antioxidant for the body, improves circulation and supports a healthy nervous system.
Found in green vegetables like spinach, collards, eggs, nuts and seeds

Foods to eat for healthy hair


Pumpkin seeds

Good source of zinc and vitamin A, vitamin b and other essential hair strengthening nutrients
Helps prevent thin, brittle hair while increasing hair growth

Carrots
Raw carrots are best
Good source of beta carotene & vitamin A
Good for shinny
Helps strengthen hair and can increase the shine in healthy hair

Radishes

Good source of Vitamin C, silicon and sulfur
Helps build strong strains of hair

Nutritional Yeast
Good source of anion acids, protein, and vitamin B
Stimulates healthy hair growth

Cucumbers

Good source of silicon
Helps build strong strains of hair and makes hair thick and shiny

Strawberries
Good source of fiber, vitamin C, and folic acid, contains antioxidants
Helps hair growth

Shiitake Mushrooms
Good source of vitamin B, niacin, and biotin
Helps keep hair and nails healthy and strong

References:
Cosmopolitan magazine
Woman's health magazine
American Hair Loss Association


Hair Smoothies

I can't leave you without a few smoothie recipes to stimulate healthy locks. All smoothies are delicious and created by me!

Hair power
1 cup raw Carrots
1 cup strawberries
1 tsp nutritional yeast
1 cup chopped apples with skin on
2 tsp raw honey or natural sweetener
1/3 cup non dairy milk

Greenie Meanie
1/2 cup cucumbers
1/2 handful pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup pineapples
Handful of kale
1/2 cup chopped apples with skin on
1/3 cup non dairy milk

Spicy Yet Sweet
1 cup strawberries
1/2 cup radishes
1/2 cup mixed berries
1/2 cup mangos
1/2 cup pineapples
1/3 cup non dairy milk

That's all today folks!
Peace & love,
Mary

Hair Food

Monday, October 27, 2014

Fitness Challenge
Lunge... to da side with balance

Challenge Synopsis
I challenge you to complete 4 sets of 12 reps of Side Lunge with Leg Lifts, each side, every day this week

Why Why Why
  • Lunges are one of the "holy grail" leg exercises, same category as squats
  • Side lunges with leg lifts targets glutes (booty), hip flexors, quads and balance
  • Lunges will increase your heart rate within the first 10 reps

Materials
Just yourself

Directions
Side Lunge with Leg Lift

Complete 4 sets of 12 reps, each side
Engage core, place hands on hips, feet slightly closer the hip width apart
Lift left foot 1-2 inches off of ground and take a big step to your left
Lunge to the side dropping your hips bending your left knee close to a 90 degree angle, while right leg stays straight
**Make sure your knee doesn't go beyond your toes, if it does take a wider step
In lunge position drive off the hell of your left foot to get you back to starting position
As you come up lift your left foot at a 90 degree angle
That's one rep

My Take
I really don't have much to say about this one. Lunges work. They shape, tone, and lift the lower body. This exercise is a huge staple in my daily workout routines. 


Nutrition Challenge

Challenge Synopsis
I challenge you to consume foods that stimulate healthy hair growth

Why Why Why
  • 1 out of 4 women have thinning hair, it starts in your 20s and gets more common as we age
  • Hair follicles become less and less active over time, hair gets thinner and thinner and doesn't grow at all
  • Hair loss can also be caused by aging, illness, damage, stress, diet, hormone imbalance and more
  • Hair needs certain vitamins and minerals to grow
  • A well balanced diet can add essential vitamins minerals and proteins to hair, making it grow faster and healthier

Materials
Foods rich in protein, biotin, vitamin B, niacin, iron folic acid, zinc, amino acids, Vitamin A, Vitamin C...

Directions
Consume foods with high amounts of growing nutrients
I will be featuring tips on stimulating healthy hair growing through the week

My Take
I started my dreadlocks the same time I started my weight-loss journey, about 7 years ago. Before dreads my hair never grew past my shoulders. Hair is a big part of a woman's identity and I've never felt more beautiful and sexier as I do now with my long, thick, healthy, mane. This weeks challenge should stimulate even more healthy hair growth. My goal is to grow my dreads down to my butt. I think I have at least 5 more years to reach that goal. Maybe this new diet could speed up the process. 


Self Improvement Challenge


Challenge Synopsis
I challenge you to send some love to people you love i.e. y family, best friends, co workers, high school friends, college buddies...

Why Why Why
  • Life gets hectic and it's easy to loose touch with people that mean the most to you
  • The holiday season is right around the corner, by reaching out now it gives you more time to reconnect
  • Everyone needs love and support, some people may seem OK on the outside, but are hurting on the inside 
  • Sending a card, text or making a phone call can/could really brighten someones day
  • Reaching out to encourage, support, cultivate relationships adds joy to your life and others 
Materials
Friends, family, co-workers, significant others, high school friends, college buddies...

Directions
  • Make a list of your most cherished relationships *make sure not to leave anyone out, include Mom and Dad, if they are important to you
  • Brainstorm ideas on how you could surprise, send support or improve your relationship
    • for example: My Grandparents are getting older, but both of them are in good health so I take my relationships with them for granted. This week I'm send them the wreaths I made during craft week. I know they will both appreciate it. It doesn't make up for missed phone calls, but it does show them I was thinking about them
  • Actually follow through 
    • Send an edible arrangement to your sister who just started a diet
    • Text your mother on a random day and time to remind her that you love her
    • Call you BFF and left him/her vent about whatever is going on in their life

My Take
This challenge is special to me for many reasons. I've been feeling a little lonely lately, it's easy to feel alone in the big world. My family and friends are always there to support me and sometimes I take them for granted. Over the last few weeks I've been sending everyone I love a little something special. This challenge also gives me an excuse to craft and create. I plan on making more wreaths and sending them to my family, friends, and my neighbors. I want everyone to know how much I love them before the holiday season comes around. 

That's all today folks!
Peace & Love, 
Mary  

It's Challenge Monday!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Hi Friends!

I'm taking the week off. 
I hope to update and improve this blog over the next few days. 
I'll be back on Monday!

Peace & Love,
Mary

Under Construction

Monday, October 20, 2014

Fitness Challenge 
Lay Down & Kick Those Legs

Challenge Synopsis
I challenge you to complete by laying leg kick series everyday this week

Why Why Why
  • This exercise targets lower abdominals, rectus abdominal and obliques 
  • You get to lay down and kick your legs, what's easier then that?
  • This exercise series requires nothing but a comfy hotel bed or an exercise mat
Materials
  • Will Power
  • Strength 
  • Disciple
  • Strong mind
  • Exercise mat 
Directions
Laying Leg Kicks


Laying on your back, engage abdominals and extend legs straight up in the air
Bend left leg and extend it straight out about 1-2 inches from ground 
Return leg to starting position 
Now bend right leg and extend it straight out about 1-2 inches from ground 
Returned to starting position
Bend both legs and extend them straight out about 1-2 inches from ground 
Repeat series adding an extra rep until you reach 5 reps in total

My Take 
This video was painful. I had to re-shoot 5 times just to get it right. It's a good progressive workout that challenges your entire core. By the 4th rep you're ready to give up. It's strange working up a sweat while laying in bed. Enjoy! 


Nutrition Challenge
Eat Dark Chocolate

Challenge Synopsis
  • Add 2 small squares of dark chocolate to your diet everyday this week
  • Make sure it's at least 60% cocoa 
Why Why Why
  • 2 smalls squares of dark chocolate can boost your brain power, heart health, energy, enhance your mood, curb your sweet tooth and spark weight loss
  • 2 ounces of dark chocolate can decrease risk of stroke by up to 20%
  • Research shows regular chocolate eaters are slimmer then those who abstain 
  • Cocoa butter fats trigger natural endorphins 
Materials
  • Dark chocolate that contains 60% more more raw natural cocoa 

Directions
  • Eat up to 2 small squares (about 2oz) of dark chocolate daily

My Take
I am a huge fan of dark chocolate. That's the only chocolate I really enjoy. White chocolate is too sweet and has no nutritional value and milk chocolate is too creamy to me. Keeping small squares of dark chocolate around curbs my sweet tooth. This week's nutrition challenge should be an easy one to pull off. 


Self Improvement Challenge
Dance like no one is watching


Challenge Synopsis
I challenge you dance like a crazy person a few times this week

Why Why Why
  • Dancing like no one is watching allows you to love your body without worrying about looking cool and finding beat
  • Dancing relives stress and anxiety 
  • Dancing can make you feel euphoric and on top of the world
  • Dancing is an effective and fun way to burn calories 
Material
  • Good music 
  • That's all you need 
Directions
  • Put the kids and the husband/wife to  bed
  • Put on pandora or your favorite artist
  • Now DANCE DANCE DANCE! 
  • Let loose and let your body move 
  • Don't worry about how you look or your dance moves
  • Just let go and DANCE
My Take
Growing up, my sister and I always listened to the radio while getting ready for school. 4-5 days a week we had dance contests. I lived alone during most of my 20s and 3-4 nights a week I turned up some tunes and danced my little butt off. I've been in a long term relationship and my boyfriend knows 5-6 days a week I'm going to dance around the house like a total idiot. He even joins in sometimes. Dancing relieves stress, is fun and is a great workout. I hope you enjoy this weeks challenge.


That's all today folks!
Peace & Love,
Mary

Challenge Monday