Momma Told Me: May 2014

Blog Archive

An Ingredient's Journey From Farm To Plate Is Much Like a Vacation

*This is a Fashionista Events Opportunity.
How to scrape a Vanilla bean.
Momma Told Me: Open your taste-buds.

In today's world we see a lot of artificial and processed foods. I'll admit, I'm not as much of a label reader as I probably should be, but I can immediately appreciate and detect a more refined product with naturally flavorful ingredients. There is simply something richer about a recipe that has been prepared with time and thought, and perhaps even tradition, it's like high definition for your taste-buds. Don't believe me? Consider the difference between a vacation to Caeser's Palace, in Las Vegas and an actual tour to Rome or Greece. Las Vegas would be satisfying, yes, your senses would be overwhelmed with sights, tastes, and sounds. However, the entire mood and vibe of an authentic experience among the land and people of Greece, well each encounter, every taste would uniquely stand out. It's no different with authentic, heartfelt food.
Talenti Gelato e Sorbetto Sea Salt Caramel
I bake with a lot of extracts- some of them are very expensive and made through proprietary processes, others retail for a few bucks and are mass produced. Did you know something as simple as the Vanilla Bean's source can impact the richness of the flavor of an entire recipe? There's simply something special about selecting a crop of vanilla beans and going the extra mile to prepare and scrape them, fresh, for your recipe. Vanilla pods undergo a long growing and grooming life before they ever reach an artisan's hands. They are picked, green, then dry and cure over several months before they can be harvested for flavor. And, if you've ever made that fateful cut along a freshly cured pod, and gently scraped the bean's flavor from the middle, you know there's no true flavor quite like it.
Talenti is a brand that gets this journey from farm to flavor, and the benefit of going that extra mile to bring a more authentic flavor to their Gelato e Sorbetto. They like to think of  flavor as a mini-vacation, where each element is part of a culinary awakening for your taste buds. Have a little chuckle at their play on the agonizing process of creating authentic flavor in the video above.

What Daughter Says: Flavor has depth, much like a well planned journey.

Make Suncare A Part Of Your Summer Routine, Know The Facts

5 Surprising Suncare Facts for the Summer
Momma Told Me: Your skin will thank you in 20 years.

This past, holiday, weekend I spent some time at the local beach park with family and friends. I'll admit I'm the palest of the group, and I seem to burn just thinking about going outside for an hour; so I'm always sure to protect myself with various forms of skincare. You see, when you have fair skin, and are prone to burning, you don't think twice about protecting from the sun's rays. However, I was shocked to hear child after child tell me they 'don't need' sunscreen because they have 'darker skin' and don't burn. This alarming statement, which I can only deduce was inherited from the adults in their lives is quite possibly part of the skin cancer epidemic the current generation faces. Proper sun care is not about keeping an even tan, or avoiding nasty peeling, it's about safeguarding our skin from harmful UVA and UVB rays, which we most of the time cannot detect at all.
Coppertone Clearly Sheer for Sunny Days has a light citrus fragrance and is safe for acne prone skin.
I'm sure you've all heard the age old point that people can get burned, but most importantly, absorb UV rays, with an entirely cloudy sky. That's because the rays themselves are transparent, and even reflected off of surfaces in cloudy conditions. These powerful rays even make their way through clothing material, and with 1 in 5 Americans developing skin cancer during their lifetime, it's clear we're not doing enough to defend ourselves.

One of the biggest reasons American consumers do not 'lather up' with sunscreen is because they perceive it as inconvenient. Well, we've come a long way with skincare, baby! Coppertone's new Clearly Sheer range of sunscreen products are specially formatted to be light, yet effective, for moisturizing all day wear that can even be layered beneath cosmetics. They're even approved for sensitive skin and acne prone complexions, so you never have a reason not to protect that gorgeous face. And, if you're one of the millions of sunscreen consumers who skip protecting because you don't want to smell like a pool or beach, the Clearly Sheer line is specially formatted with a citrus inspired fragrance that is easy to wear and almost undetectable.
I keep a convenient 1oz Coppertone Clearly Sheer for Sunny Days in my glove compartment at all times. I never know when I will find myself outside for more than 15 minutes, or among company equally in need of UV protection. While I'm a 'spray' screen kinda gal, studies have shown that people are less accurate in fully covering their skin with such applications, so I reach for the light layering lotion with it's refreshing citrus infuse scent. And don't forget to protect those eyes too; be sure the entire family is outfitted with sunglasses this Summer!

What Daughter Says: Proper skincare starts with accurate knowledge, how much do you know about staying protected?

You May Have The #GreatestDad, But @BestBuy Has The Greatest Gifts! #Ad

The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free.
Best Buy has gifts under $100 to math any dad, the Fitness Fanatic, Gizmo Guru, Memory Maker, and more! #GreatestDad
Momma Told Me: Just get him a Best Buy Gift Card!

This time of the year is always a panic for me. Beginning May 30, with my Aunt's birthday, and rolling right through the end of August, with my own birthday and 5 others' of family and friends in the same week; it's a logistical nightmare. I'll be honest, in my family, we tend to 'bundle' gifts. The perfect example is my father, who's birthday is June 11, just 4 days prior the the June 15th deadline of Father's Day this year. I'll usually end up buying a more expensive gift and rolling them into a gift for both holidays. But that doesn't mean my gifting woes end there and I can happily move on to the next event in my family. You see, when it comes to my father, I'm the closest relative; which means I get calls from all over the country, starting in May. Everyone wants to know what my Pop has been eying at the electronics store, or the hottest gadget he's been saving up for.
Even as a child, my dd would tke me to Best Buy to find the hottest deals on new technology. #GreatestDad
There are many types of dad's when it comes to technology and electronics; some are Fitness Fanatics, who are always on the run and can never have enough heart-rate monitors or step-tracking apps, while others are Memory Makers who are the first to bust out the video camera at a family gathering and print that baseball schedule for Jr's little league. My dad, he's a Gizmo Guru. Before home computer's were 'cool' we had a little IBM that could with a green pix-elated 8bit monstrosity of a computer screen, and were one of the first families to BETA the original America Online. I have vivid memories, growing up, of being drug through store after store hunting for the latest appliances, and computer upgrades. For several years we'd even plan a family trip to Best Buy every other weekend, after our Sunday Chinese dinner.
Using Best Buy's Father's Day gift guide to find the perfect Father's Day gift for my Gizmo Guru dad! #GreatestDad
So it won't surprise you that I shop for many of my own electronic investments and gifts at Best Buy, still, today. Our local store has what I consider the ultimate playground showroom for the hottest home theater technology and gizmo gadgets. This Father's Day I'll be shopping for the right gift for my father, and his father (who's birthday happens to also be in June) with the easy to navigate gift center online, where I can browse gift ideas by price range or personality type. I can even take advantage of free shipping on qualified orders, to help save money and time. I wasn't surprised at all to see the Lenovo Yoga 2 make the top of the list for Gizmo Guru dad's. I've actually been saving up to get this 2-In-1 Touch-Screen Laptop ever since I bestowed Momma with a brand new tablet last Christmas. My father has helped finance several of my computers, from the very first one he built custom for me in grade-school, to my new Dell XPS last month (when my old PC started smoking.)
Find the perfect Father's Day gift for every dad at Best Buy with gifts under $100.
Buying a laptop for my father would be a wonderful gesture, but it's financially going to have to wait, for this secret elf, until Christmas. I've been grateful for the more budget friendly Father's Day gift ideas that will work better for all the relatives and friends also looking to gift my father. For just under $50 the new Roku Streaming HDMI Stick and Modal Bluetooth Speaker make a perfect match for my dad, who's always streaming his favorite shows or radio stations. For a little bit more, but still under $100, my grandmother can invest in the TARGUS top-load laptop bag that is airline friendly for my father's next trip Back East, this Winter. The possibilities are endless, but it's nice to have several great ideas for my Gizmo Guru father all in one convenient place with a low price-gaurantee!

What type of persona is your dad, Gizmo Guru, Fitness Fanatic, Entertainer, or Memory Maker?

What Daughter Says: Find a gift that's a little more personal with gifts under $100, and the perfect gift for any type of dad, at Best Buy.

10 Awesome Things To Do With Kool-Aid This Summer

10 Awesome Things To Do With Kool-Aid: Fabric color chart, homemade lip gloss, fruity kid-safe play dough, tie-dyed nylons, colorful pet dye, cupcake frosting, fruity ice cubes, and more.
Momma Told Me: Be careful, you're going to stain something!

Those who know me know I love color- it simply makes me giddy to see bright hues playing together in food, fabric, or real life. And, I wouldn't be much of a living rainbow if I didn't include a roundup of this Summer's hottest Kool-Aid related projects, would I? I still have fond memories of drip-dying my best friends hair and making homemade 'pixi-stix' with the powdered packets found at the grocery store. Of course, Kool-Aid has come a long way since those days, with countless specialty flavors and even formats, but I'd be remiss if I didn't offer you a smattering of deliciously fruity recipe and project ideas using these little packets that usually sell for just $.20 at my local Walmart.
Kool-Aid Colorsilks fabric dye chart.
10. You can dye nearly anything with Kool-Aid- But did you know there are amazingly crafty people who have calculated how many (sugar free) servings of each packet you should make per 2 quarts of water. Naturally, there are a few techniques you can use to increase the vibrancy of your results and prolong the color's hold. Dying in boiling water and with  vinegar rinse are among some of the most common tips; but you will want to do some research based on your fabric type, first.

9. Tie-Dying with Kool-Aid is a fun and deliciously smelly project for any age. There are a slew of home decor projects showing up with everything from outdoor pillow cushions and sarongs to classic t-shirts and braided headbands. If you can dream it, you can probably make it when you roll, twist and dip fabrics in Kool-Aid. One of my favorite ideas, shown in the round-up, are tie-dyed ombre stockings, especially great for old nylons and costumes.
Mix Kool-Aid powder packets with pet-safe conditioner for temporary dye.
8. On the topic of dying, Kool-Aid is considered so safe for coloring professional groomers use it for holidays and shows. If you're dyeing (pun intended) to know the secret to locking in a streak or pouf of color with a squirming dog, it's pet safe conditioner. I've yet to try this popular trick, but it seems washing your pooch and drying to just damp is the perfect pre-treatment for a powder Koo-Aid-conditioner coloring. Just remember, as always when using Kool-Aid packets to dye, leave out the sugar!

7. Transform playtime with kid-safe homemade play-dough using Kool-Aid for fragrance and coloring. Not only is Kool-Aid a great way to spruce up the classic 1C Flour, 1/4C Salt, 2/3C Water, and 1 TBS Oil play-dough recipe, but it adds an extra sensory element of scent kids are sure to love.
Add Kool-Aid ice cubes to seltzer water for a refreshing drink, or let toddlers use them for sesory play as watercolors.
6.) Kool-Aid makes for great color and flavor when baking. Add a packet of your favorite Kool-Aid to a basic white boxed cake mix, or tub of vanilla frosting and you're sure to get compliments about the unique rich and fruity turnout. Play with flavors and colors in sugar cookies to make mulch-colored desserts destined for big smiles.

5.)Drink it. You didn't think I forgot about the most essential function of this fruit punch drink, did you? You can spruce up pre-made Kool-Aid in a variety of ways, from freezing it in ice cube molds and adding it to seltzer water, to cut back on sugar, or serving it with fresh sliced fruit on ice, as a delicious mocktail.
Mix Vaseline, Kool-Aid powder, and honey for a sweet and fruity lip gloss tweens will love to make.
4.) Make 3 ingredient lip gloss tweens will love to create at sleepovers or birthday parties. Take the traditional Vaseline base and color/flavor it with Kool-Aid packets, but be sure to add a sweetener, such as honey, to make it less bitter.

3.) Try a science experiment- Make Kool-Aid Rock Candy with some boiling sugar water, Kool-Aid packets, twine, clothespins, and mason jars. This is a great Summer project kids will love to watch, while building patience, lots of patience!
Kool-Aid dyed felted Star Wars Coasters at Adventures In All Things Food.
2.) If Popsicles are so 90's, crank it up a notch with homemade Kool-Aid slushes, or go a step further and build your own Purple Cow Kool-Aid Float. If you have a home ice-cream maker handy you can even find several low sugar sherbert recipes online!

1.) If you're especially daring, and creative, take some inspiration from my fellow blogger, Andrea, and try your hand at wool felting. I'm absolutely smitten with her Star Wars inspired Kool-Aid dyed felting coasters, and she makes it look so easy too! Check out her complete felting post and tutorial!

What Daughter Says:  Momma usually made me drink my Kool-Aid on the porch, now I play with it in the house!

Crafting With Candy: Candy Card Poster For Father's Day With Template

Candy Card Poster Craft for Father's Day.
Momma Told Me: I'd love it if it were ripped and covered in dirt- but sugar doesn't hurt.

Looking back through the years I've given my parents some pretty questionable gifts for various holidays. And by 'questionable' I mean, even I often couldn't recall what the original intent of the project was when handing it over. Let's face it, most Mother's Day and Father's Day projects originated in school with mass instruction and little oversight by the overwhelmed teacher of 30 who was simply trying to avoid a glitter inhalation incident. While Momma was a very crafty individual, I seldom got to make anything for my father outside of these yearly school projects. In my parent's attic is a box full of misshapen pottery attempts, shedding macaroni art, and 20-year-old food clued to construction paper. However, I clearly recall, every holiday, Pop taking me to buy a box of chocolates to preset with my handmade gift; as Momma told me, she'd love anything I gave her, but a little sugar never hurt!
Candy Card Poster Craft for Father's Day.
This week I've been fighting pneumonia, and the past few days it has been unusually dreary for May in Southern California. In our family there are  lot of holidays through the Summer, beginning with Father's Day and the birthdays of my own Pop and Grand Pop. I'll be making two cakes the first week of June, and attending two birthday dinners; so Father's Day is high on my priority list to knock-out now. With the overcast light outside barely enough to make for a decent photo I decided I was going to continue my Crafting With Candy Series and walk Sabrina (11) through a Father's Day Candy Card Poster.
Candy Card Poster Craft for Father's Day.
A Rebus is a reference device in which images are used to represent words are parts of words. You like how I just made crafting with candy educational? Rebus tools are used as early as second grade in the U.S. and help build cognition on several planes. In the case if the classic Candy Card Poster idioms can also be involved while playing with the meaning of candy names, or using them literally, for a structurally sound educational lesson turned craft. Or you can always use our template, or one of the many popular ones online, and skip the heavy thinking. In our case I put Sabrina in the car, drove to the dollar store, bought a Sharpie and a large foam posterboard, and made her begin brainstorming right then and there.
Candy Card Poster Craft for Father's Day.
When picking candies to represent sentiments and words in your giant semi-edible card, some candies will be immediately obvious in intent. 100 Grand, Air Heads, Butterfinger, and PayDay all flow easily into a car from a child to their father. (Think allowances, possible gifts, and clumsy kids.) When Sabrina thought up the "my PayDay wasn't very Riesen-able" line I was pretty darn proud of her use of wit and understanding. Making our card's text from scratch we found it simplest to place all the candies in the center of a table and separate the ones we had use as we wrote. Once you have your text down the hardest part is figuring our spacing!

The best part about this gift is that the entire family will enjoy devouring the sentiment for days to come- that is if the proud father doesn't insist on mounting it to the wall!

What Daughter Says: Use our template or create your own candy card for extra smiles this Father's Day.

Printable Candy Card Poster Craft Template can be altered for Father's Day, Birthday, Mother's Day, and more!

The #AerieReal Campaign Challenges Modern Women To Be Boldly Confident

I received an Aerie gift card as part of my relationship with the Quality Blue community. All opinions expressed are my own.
The #AerieReal campaign challenges modern women to feel boldly confident in their own skin, by omitting re-touched photos from their advertising campaigns.
Momma Told Me: Beauty is 99% in your head.

"I'm not a model." As a blogger I hear it all the time when I ask family or friends to take a photo for my blog. Yes, even in this freelance form of media, blogging, people have a perception that photos should represent an ideal. But there in lies the problem, that 'ideal' which the modern media has perpetuated for countless years. Archeological research has shown even the first form of media communication, cave drawings, used exaggeration and editorial liberties to communicate traits such as power and strength. Our brains have been trained to respond to perfected stimuli, and as a consequence many modern women and men feel less sufficient when staring at themselves in the mirror.
The #AerieReal campaign challenges modern women to feel boldly confident in their own skin, by omitting re-touched photos from their advertising campaigns.
If there's one category of marketing I prefer to skip all-together it's the lingerie division. Entire brands have alienated me with their continuously uniform campaigns of women with smooth abs and perk chests. In fact, there have long been several labels I would admire from mall windows, yet never step foot in for embarrassment that I didn't meet some secret customer 'model.' As a tall and curvy woman my body meets several fashion roadblocks from size 12 women's footwear to modest yet flirty tops that don't overexpose. But the most important aspect of fashion, comfort, comes in two parts; comfort of the clothing and materials itself, and comfort wearing the clothes in one's own skin. This is a concept Aerie, the lingerie and clothing division of American Eagle has moved to embrace with their recent #AerieReal campaign.
Boldly announcing they would no longer feature 'photo retouched' models in their Aerie (specifically lingerie and sleepwear) ads, American Eagle has made waves through media publications worldwide. If you're cynical like me you probably figure anyone who is a model most likely does not need retouching anyway; so what's the big deal? We've been conditioned to see smooth stomachs and bronzed legs so much we can't even detect these alterations in modern media. The truth is real women, in any size, have folds and lines that aren't typically considered flattering. In reality, nothing is more 'real' and beautiful than the natural movement of the human body and the emotion it conveys when twisting and turning.
The #AerieReal campaign challenges modern women to feel boldly confident in their own skin, by omitting re-touched photos from their advertising campaigns.
The unique Aerie campaign challenges real women across the nation to snap a photo of themselves in Aerie clothing and upload their images with the hashtag #AerieReal. All images submitted will make an appearance on the Aerie website showcasing true beauty in all shapes and sizes. With some new found inspiration I decided to showcase some of my favorite Aerie pieces in untouched photos of my own. I went a step further and selected some more candid photos from the shoot that aren't necessarily from the better 'angles' but show a real picture of me. And guess what? I feel confident and beautiful looking at them! I may have pale legs and curves around my waist, and my hair day may not have been the best but I felt confident in my skin and confidence really is the best accessory anyone can wear.
The #AerieReal campaign challenges modern women to feel boldly confident in their own skin, by omitting re-touched photos from their advertising campaigns.
In partnership with their #AerieReal initiative, Aerie has also released a new comprehensive bra guide to help online shoppers find the right fit online or in store. Of course you'll find plenty of inspiring 'untouched' images of their models to help you along the way. Seeing a campaign like this is very refreshing, but we are still a long way from transparency in modern fashion marketing and media. It's my hope, some day, every woman can stand confident and feel like they could be a 'model.'

What Daughter Says: Take that confidence striking poses in the bathroom mirror and rock your body in the real world. You are a model.

#Ad Rewarding Beyond Positive Reinforcement Dog Training

I am a member of the Collective Bias® Social Fabric® Community. This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper amplification for #CollectiveBias and its advertiser. 
Nudges dog treats come in 4 delicious varieties of filler-free, made in the U.S.A protein that's FDA approved. Yes, you could even eat them! Create some #NudgesMoments today and pick up a package at a Walmart near you. #Shop
Momma Told Me: The best rewards are the ones you didn't even know you earned.

I still remember that first ride home. It was a long one, six hours long to be exact. We'd waited months to find Nora, and as I tucked my new ball of fluff safely into her 'car seat,' I distinctly remember the classic wave of 'new parent' fear washing over me. I worried about pet safety, if I'd be able to keep her happy in our second story condo, if I'd have the patience to potty train her, how we'd both deal with separation anxiety when I'd inevitably have to leave home to run errands. I was nervous, I was excited; but most of all I was in love. She was an adorable puppy, yes, but she was also the newest member of our growing family. That long ride 'home' Nora didn't whine once, and not a single accident was made; and you can bet I pulled my new dogher out of the car beaming with pride.
Friends Come in All Shapes And Fabrics. #NudgesMoments #Shop
As a child we never had a dog in the household. We spent the first 10 years of my life in a condominium with a very tiny patio, and no grass. Momma was adamant that she always 'wanted' a dog, but that a dog simply wouldn't be happy living there. So I understandably had a bit of anxiety when Nora came into our lives, my own life stage very similar to those of my parents during my childhood. I worried if Truffles, our cat, would learn to accept her new sibling. I pondered adding a 1' fencing border around our patio railing. And I avoided the temptation of allowing Nora to sleep in our bed for fear one of us would roll onto her in the middle of the night. There was plenty of puppy-proofing; and as a toy breed dog, there are still many things we do today to ensure Nora's safety.
Take time to paws for family. #NudgesMoments #Shop
Nora picked up on training really fast; I often look back on how well she did with her basic commands and wonder why I never attempted to teach her tricks. I suppose I was too busy thinking of her as  family member more than a pet. Until she grew too long, she'd sleep on my shoulder while I blogged through the afternoon. When she'd become too big she'd sleep stretched alongside. And there were definitely some anxiety issues on both our parts whenever I'd have to leave the house. Much like a crying baby, we'd often have to practice on leaving Nora in  separate room while home, or leaving a radio on, to soothe her when her humans couldn't be around.
To nudge is to gently encourage. How do you nudge your dog? Try Made In The U.S.A. Nudges premium jerky treats. #NudgesMoments #Shop
One of the behaviors we taught Nora shortly after crate training was 'homing' or 'spot training.' As a Morkie (Maltese + Yorkie,) Nora tends to be a very energetic breed that loves people more than any plaything. Seriously folks, this dog has no judgement when it comes to strangers; if you are a human you must be there to love her, period. This is where spot training came in especially handy. It's a technique Nora executes without fail, and to the amazement of 22 strange relatives huddled around her last Thanksgiving. When placed on one of her beds or play mats Nora will not move off the surface, for anything. The exception is that she is allowed to retrieve a wayward toy so long as she returns to her bed or mat immediately. We also permit Nora to be 'in good behavior' while technically off her spot, so long as she is still touching (IE a leg on the mat her head resting on her bed), and she is intelligent enough to comprehend this.
Nudges dog treats at Walmart. #NudgesMoments #Shop
Find a place that makes your tail wag. #NudgesMoments #Shop
I will have to share a video of this sometime, it really is quite astounding. The only detriment is that you must remove the dog from her 'spot' if you wish her to roam freely or even come on command. Nora knows full well when she has free reign to roam, and will take advantage of it quite fully when there is no bed or mat around! During our training process there was a decent amount of patience, relocating the dog back to her 'spot' when she moved, and positive reinforcement in the form of treats. I distinctly remember feeling guilty every time I handed over a treat- most of the ingredients on the back of the generic pouch has an excessive amount of syllables and didn't sound very natural.
Nudges dog treats come in 4 delicious varieties of filler-free, made in the U.S.A protein that's FDA approved. Yes, you could even eat them! Create some #NudgesMoments today and pick up a package at a Walmart near you. #Shop
For a long time, since her behavioral training, Nora has forgone treats for that very reason. Occasionally I'd find a gluten free or handmade biscuits and chews I trusted and Nora would simply turn her nose up at them. I recently discovered Nudges premium jerky dog treats on a shopping trip at Walmart. I immediately recognized the American brand behind Nudges for their raised in the U.S.A. proteins and a quick once-over of the pouch told me I was right to trust my instincts. There were absolutely no fillers, and four delicious varieties to choose from; Health and Wellness, Bacon, Duck, and Beef. Even more exciting to me, as a pet parent, was the discovery that these FDA dog treats were made with human grade ingredients.
Nudges dog treats come in 4 delicious varieties of filler-free, made in the U.S.A protein that's FDA approved. Yes, you could even eat them! Create some #NudgesMoments today and pick up a package at a Walmart near you. #Shop
For a long time we've gone without 'treating' in our family because I felt there was no need for rewards if I wasn't actively training Nora- and she also never approved of the treats I approved of. When I recently opened a bag of Nudges dog treats for the first time our tiny dog nearly fell off the bed in excitement! Let' just say Nora is less than lady like when Nudges are involved. And it turns out she's not the only canine wagging their tail for these treats- check out the brand's Pinterest board for some adorably wholesome moments.

While my little girl is still quite 'little,' I still look back on those fluff ball days with pride. But I am always sure to stop and live in the little moments of today as well. We've made it two years together, and all of us still have our limbs (okay, I might be lacking a tail); that's an accomplishment in itself! Nora is always there will a silly grin and a wagging tail no matter what the universe has thrown at me, and sometimes I forget that all those little things are #NudgesMoments in themselves. I don't need my dog to do back flips or retrieve the paper to indulge in a little extra happiness; after all, she never asks me for anything before sharing her love....

What Daughter Says: Nora is a reward in herself. Doesn't she deserve a Nudge now and then?

@CoolwayHair Care For Heat Stylers And Habitul Brushers Giveaway~ 6/3

Coolway Products for protecting hair with heat styling. Great for habitual blow dryers and brushers!
Momma Told Me: Use it or lose it.

My hair and I have been through a lot. Ever since Momma threatened to, and did, cut my long locks off for a bowl cut in the third grade I've championed the cause of healthy hair. As a little girl I took my golden brown tresses for granted and often skipped proper shampooing and brushing techniques out of laziness. Momma's tactics might have been unconventional, but you can bet, as my hair grew back, I never shirked those beauty regimens again. People like to counter that, because I color my hair and blow dry religiously, I do not take proper care of my hair. I like to argue that you can have style and color without doing excess damage to your hair. Naturally, everyone's hair and scalp is different, so your care mat vary from mine, but I have always had medium-thick hair with a normal scalp. When you are born with healthy locks and good skin, it does make things easier- but having certain styling challenges don't have to mean damaged hair or frizzy styling.
The Knotty Girl brush, by Coolway, has unique bending bristles that contour to your hair's cuticle to help coax tangles without breakage or loss.
I am constantly on the lookout for new tools and treatments to keep my hair looking, and actually being, it's healthiest. While I have always had a full head of hair, I have also equally fought the 'hair on the brush' scenario. I like to style my hair straight, and in the humidity we often get through our heat waves, this often means my hair will puff and even frizz without warning. I habitually brush my hair morning, noon, and night to encourage natural shine and style maintenance. If your styling routine doesn't involve a carefully chosen brush then that is the first investment you should make. In general I recommend a paddle style hair brush that is wide and helps distribute oil while keeping your cuticles lie flat. Paddle brushes often have a nice pillowy cushion beneath the bristles that allow them to contour to your head as you brush.
Coolway Products for protecting hair with heat styling. Great for habitual blow dryers and brushers!
Paddle brushes are great for hair care and daily brushing, but combing your hair directly after showering is often when your locks are under the most stress. Water not only weighs down and binds weaker strands of hair but can also create a tangling effect. For this I suggest a brush solely for de-tangling and managing damp hair. Brushes like the Knotty Girl by Coolway Products offer an innovative approach to de-tangling. The Knotty Girl has a unique Soft Flow bristle design that allows the bristles to bend and flow with your hair to help de-tangle as each bristle meets a knot. This naturally prevents less strain on your hair and decreases breakage such as split ends. I did find myself wishing this brush was wider, and more paddle style, but found brushing vertically also maximized the brush head space.
Coolway Products for protecting hair with heat styling. Great for habitual blow dryers and brushers!
Because I color treat my hair I am very aware of the impact of heat during the styling process. Any time you lighten your hair you are removing  layer, or more, which cannot be replaced. This tends to make hair thinner and less strong against breakage. Many people do not understand exactly how heat, ins styling damages hair- simply that it can and does. If you are a straight hair addict like me (or even a habitual curler) styling is held and trained by the gradual heating of strands being melted and stretched. Now that doesn't sound very friendly, does it? Our hair can stand up to a it of treatment and heat, but, over time, it is prone to cracks and wear that eventually impacts the hair's cuticle and core strength. I've recently begun using Coolway's True Smooth heat treatment spray and Boost Repair Mask to counteract the impact of heat and blow-drying.
Coolway Products for protecting hair with heat styling. Great for habitual blow dryers and brushers!
While I have been using the products together (the mask every third wash,) I have been most impressed by the conditioning and appearance of my hair after coating it with the True Smooth formula prior to styling. The product is very fine and bit oily, but goes on light thanks to the fine mist nozzle, and brushes in without weighing my hair down. There is no offensive or lingering odor, and my hair seems to blow dry faster and more even. Typically my scalp seems to dry slower, so I have been especially interested to note how uniform the drying process has become. The results, even after one treatment are undeniable. My hair, which was chemically lightened just a month back, is much more pliable and shiny.

How do you fight the effects of heat and styling on your hair?

What Daughter Says: Styling doesn't have to equal hair loss. Smart styling can actually strengthen your hair and make it appear healthier.

One Momma Told Me reader will win a Coolway Products haircare bundle featuring the Knotty Girl Brush, True Smooth spray, and Boost Repair Mask.

What I'm Streaming: The 100 (2014, Season 1)- CW

What I'm Streaming: CW's The 100 based on YA Author Kass Morgan's first trilogy novel. Post apocolyptic teenage drama.
Momma Told Me: Don't believe everything you see on TV.

Not every show I watch has Emmy nominations and high budget actors. Sometimes I'm tempted to dive, contrary to my better sense, into the teen television category. Chances are I'm not alone and you too have found yourself watching a guilty pleasure on the CW network at some point in time. Let's face it, half the programming on that network is essentially 'adult' drama with younger, more attractive human beings. In fact it's that 'photo-shopped' picture of perfection the network tends to perpetuate that generally has me tuning out. I can only take so much B quality acting and topless 20 year-old men posing as 17 year-olds before any semblance of credibility is sucked from a series. However, reminiscing about my days in high school watching Smallville on the CW somehow suckered me into the promos for their latest series, The 100.
What I'm Streaming: CW's The 100 based on YA Author Kass Morgan's first trilogy novel. Post apocolyptic teenage drama.
Now, if I haven't scared you off with my introduction, then I might actually have something here worth checking out. Based on the young adult novel of the same name, by Kass Morgan, The 100 is a series focusing on the first book in a trilogy that is currently still being written. So, if you're the sort who likes to read along as you watch, this is a great show for you, with the Season 1 finale wrapping June 11, 2014. There's plenty of time to pick up the easy read YA novel AND stream the first half of the season on Hulu or  But what is it about? Best summed: A post apocalyptic human race attempts to return to Earth as their space bound supplies are finally depleting.
What I'm Streaming: CW's The 100 based on YA Author Kass Morgan's first trilogy novel. Post apocolyptic teenage drama.
And just why did the rulers of some of humanity's last orbiting space colonies choose to send a bunch of teenagers down to Earth? Well I suspect that's more a fact of convenience to the series attributed YA author; but it makes for some wonderful young romance tension and an interesting contrast of maturity vs survival. You see, these '100' teenagers sent to Earth were all considered criminals for one reason or another (some for even having been born.) Not exactly the ambassador you want waving flags when you try to repopulate your planet and discover a living race of humans already on the ground, right? And so the season progresses with equally as much deception and drama on the ground as on the station in the air.
What I'm Streaming: CW's The 100 based on YA Author Kass Morgan's first trilogy novel. Post apocolyptic teenage drama.
Like any good teenage drama the main characters have several potential love interests and flirt with the possibility of all at one point or another. The acting does get a little cheesy and the behavior of these 'teens' certainly isn't anything I'd want being transferred onto my own children. It takes a few episodes to ease into any tangible reality of the show, as the cast of characters first encounter real threats and social challenges. In all, it's an easy watch that keeps me interested enough to tune in the next week to see what will happen next. And I hear the season finale is a complete shocker- so I can hold onto that until June 11th.

What Daughter Says: Sci-Fi meets young adult drama in this series that pushes my believability in actors more than the post-apocalyptic scenarios it presents.