Daily Archives: August 15, 2012

2012 Presidential Cookie Bake-Off

Family Circle Magazine’s Presidential Cookie Bake-Off, which traditionally pits the cookie recipe of the current First Lady against that of the First Lady Hopeful, first occurred in 1992 and has now spanned six elections. What began as PR damage control for Hillary Clinton before the 1992 election (after she was accused of being out of touch with stay-at-home, cookie-baking women), has, oddly, become a rather prophetic indicator of the likely outcome of presidential elections. With the exception of Cindy McCain, every winner of the bake-off has gone on to the White House.

Not only does the outcome of the contest itself seem to (sometimes) predict that of the election, but one may even be able to predict the outcome of the bake-off itself based on one little factor: whether either recipe contains oats. According to Slate.com, trend analysis of the bake-off’s previous winning recipes has revealed that oat-containing recipes have consistently beat-out their non-oat-containing counterparts. From Cindy McCain’s oatmeal-butterscotch cookies to Laura Bush’s oatmeal chocolate chunks, this continues to ring true. So, if A+B=C, then do oats win presidential elections?

But cookie batter isn’t the only thing this contest stirs up – it also yields plenty of controversy. Many feel that the contest is outdated (and has been since its inception), and that it reduces some of the most politically powerful and influential women in the country to recipe-swapping, 1950s stereotypes. The flip side of that, of course, is that if the contest were to be canceled, it could be seen as a slap in the face to women who choose to work in the home and/or might imply that women who do have careers don’t also make time for their families. It’s pretty treacherous ground any way you slice it.

Additionally, in these health and weight-conscious times, some wonder whether promoting the baking of cookies that contain plenty of sugar and trans fats, in addition to oats, sends the wrong message. But both Mrs. Obama and Mrs. Romney make it pretty clear in their descriptions of their recipes that their cookies are used only as special treats, not daily staples. Like Cookie Monster now says, cookies are a “sometimes food.”

So, sexism and sugar aside, Will Ann Romney‘s oat-containing M&M recipe beat outMichele Obama‘s white and dark chocolate chip recipe? If it does, will Mrs. Obama pull a second upset and land in the White House anyway? Only time and voters (of both the bake-off and election varieties) will tell. If you are interested in whipping up a batch of presidential cookies, or want to vote, click here.

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Oprah Winfrey Shows Off Her Natural Hair

Oprah Winfrey is going au naturel … or at least her hair is.

While she’s always got a perfectly done-up ‘do while out in public, she’s gracing the September Issue of O, The Oprah Magazine with her hair “in its natural state” for the first time.

In the mag, Winfrey opens up about her follicles … and says she almost chopped them all off!

“I wanted to wear it close-cropped a la Camille Cosby but her husband Bill convinced me otherwise. ‘Don’t do it,’ he said. ‘You’ve got the wrong head shape and you’ll disappoint yourself.’ I took his advice,” she says.

In The Makeover Issue, O also says the only beauty changes that really work are “those in which something inside the receiver clicks, aligning with that which is being received. The only way to real transformation is through the mind.”

The latest issue of O hit the newsstands on August 7.

Source: toofab.com

10 Hair Tools Every Natural Should Have

Whether relaxed bone straight, 137% natural, transitioning, texturized, kinky, curly, colored or cut, there are some supplies every woman should have in her haircare arsenal. The great news? None of the tools cost over 3 bucks (if you do it the right way). Oh, now you’re excited! Read on…

10. Tattered Rags

Whether they be old towels you bleached to kingdom come that one time on accident, or old faded t-shirts from an ex, having cloths you don’t care about are beneficial to any regimen. From drying hair post-shampoo, to protecting your sink/floor during a messy henna treatment, these tattered rags come in super handy — because you don’t care if they get dirty or discolored.

9. Plastic Caps/Grocery Bags

Clear plastic caps are great for protecting a style in the shower, and holding in moisture for a deep or overnight conditioning. They are usually no more than $2 a pack, and hold up pretty well. Cool bonus: recycle your plastic grocery bags! They work just the same as plastic caps, if not better. Just pile your hair in, use the handles to tie the bag closed, and ta-da!

8. Butterfly Clamps/Clips

These clips are a lifesaver when its time to detangle, separate, or style hair. They’re cheap (around $2 bucks for a 12 pack at Sally’s), easy to use, and easy to clean.

7. Banana Clip

Super throwback, right? I have recently fallen in love with this hair blast from the past all over again. The banana clip has officially replaced my scrunchie for buns, ponytails, and other styles. They are easy to use, secure hair well without tension, and are incredibly versatile. Cop yours at Wal-Mart for $3 for a 3-pack.

6. Applicator Bottle

Sure, you could use it for its original intended purpose; mixing and applying hair color. It’s also a great tool for moisturizing your scalp. If you tend to get heavy handed with the oils like me, a narrow tipped applicator bottle will become your saving grace. It allows for precise application of oils to your scalp or hair, which is a bonus while rocking a straightened style (bye bye greasies). Just remember: the harder you squeeze the bottle, the more your product comes out!

5. Spray Bottle

Cue the soul glow! Nah, I’m kidding. Sometimes, products come in packages that are more of a pain than purposeful (like Infusium 23 Repair & Renew Leave-In). Or maybe you want to moisten your hair with water, without dunking your head in the sink. Or maybe you think a certain product is too thick, and you need a way to water it down and disseminate it evenly throughout your hair. All of the above and more are great uses for the spray bottle. Grab yours at Sally’s or Target (in the travel sized bottle section) for a few pennies over $1.

4. Bobby Pins

You can never, ever, EVER have too many bobby pins. Large, small, colored or not, these little fellas are a life saver. From faux hawk sculpting, to bun securing or just keeping my growing out bangs in place, bobby pins add dimension and variety to any style. I am known to have bobby pin stashes in my house, car, work bag, gym bag, and purse if I am carrying one (I hate purses… especially big ones. All they do is allow you to carry around unnecessary junk. Tell me I’m lying!). But the point is, bobby pins are incredibly useful and multifaceted.

3. Wide Tooth Comb

Once your hair reaches an inch long, a wide tooth comb becomes somewhat of a staple in your arsenal. I know, most short hair ladies use rat tail or fine tooth combs. I’m not knocking you if you do but, how much of your hair ends up in the sink? At least use a wide tooth comb to prep your hair for whatever you’re doing…before reaching for that denman or rat tail comb. Right now, I’m rolling with my Target special aka Conair wide tooth comb that hit me for around $3.

2. Satin Scarf/Bonnet

Do I really need to explain why sleeping on anything less than satin is a bad idea? Didn’t think so.

And theeeee most important tool of all……… Drumroll, please!

1. A Hair Journal

Huh? What? How is this #1? Let me explain. If you’re anything like me, you can’t remember what you wore to work yesterday….let alone what combination of products and procedures you used on your hair last week. So keep a journal. Put an app like colornote on your phone, keep a literal journal, or heck, keep a blog! This blog is just as much for me as it is y’all. The point is for you to record what products your hair loved, hated, and everything inbetween. No need in making the same mistake twice, or forgetting how to do that dope style from two Mondays ago.

Are there any tools you can’t live without?

Source: blackgirllonghair.com

5 Hair Care Mistakes Most Naturals Make

by Jarmelia of DIY Hair Care Blog

1. Joining Bandwagons– What’s a bandwagon? It’s going out and trying techniques and new hair tools just because others are doing it. Every month there is a new bandwagon; co-washing, no-poo, baggying, Tangle Teezer, and others are all bandwagons. While these techniques can be beneficial; if what you’re doing isn’t broken don’t try to fix it. Try only following techniques that solve a problem you currently have with your hair.

2.Hair Typing– Yes, it’s nice to feel like you’re a part of a group but honestly, hair typing is purely aesthetic. Yes your curls can look like someone elses but, it takes more than knowing your hair type to really figure out what your hair likes and doesn’t like. You can learn a lot from people who don’t have the same hair type as you do.

3. Throwing Away Products That Work– Don’t go and throwaway that “tried and true” leave-in just because, you’ve now learned about mineral oil. Trust me, when you’re having a bad hair day, you’re going to be looking for that tried and true product. Again, if it isn’t broken don’t fix it.

4. Black People, Black Hair, Black Products– Please, kick this notion to the curb. You may have more in common hairwise with someone who is not the same color as you and actually learn some great tips from other curlies. Lots of natural hair ladies use Dove, Suave, Loreal, Aussie Moist, Garnier Fructis, with muchsuccess and these aren’t marketed for “black hair”. Just find products that solve the problems you’re facing with your hair.

5. Natural Is Easy As 1-2-3– No, natural hair doesn’t have to be difficult but, we all have our days. Don’t go natural thinking that you won’t have any bad hair days or even months! Natural hair has it’s learning curves.

By keeping the 5 tips above in mind while on your journey it will save you a lot of frustration, there’s is nothing like experiencing excessive breakage or slit ends and having no idea where they came from and how to stop them. If you keep your regimen consistent, you will get consistent results.

Are you guilty of any of the above?

4 Major Causes Of Hair Breakage

by GiGi of The BeautyXchange

Healthy hair is important to women regardless of hair type or texture. Do you know any woman who wants to walk around with bald spots or hair that is falling out and/or shedding excessively? Chances are you don’t. If not taken seriously, breakage can cause lasting affects on your hair’s health.

1. Hairstyles – If there is tightness or tension on your scalp from any style chances are you will suffer from severe breakage. Although hair is comprised of protein, keratin to be exact – it is fragile especially around the nape and crown. If there is tugging, pulling, pressure, tightness this can lead to bald patches.

From my own personal experience I can tell you that the way you choose to style your hair is important in preventing and/or minimizing breakage. Recently, I wore synthetic extensions styled in braids for two months. At the time, I had them done I was wincing in pain at the tightness of the braids on my scalp. I suffered major breakage at the crown of my head as a result.

2. Styling Tools – Excessive use of heat related tools like blow dryers, flat irons, curling irons, hot rollers, etc will weaken your hair’s cuticle. Limit the frequency of usage and minimize the length of time the heat is in contact with your hair. If you are using heating tools excessively make sure to deep condition your hair on a weekly basis.

3. Manipulating Wet Hair – If your hair is wet try to minimize its manipulation. Wet hair is more susceptible to breakage than dry hair. Use a detangler to reduce tangles and knots. Also, use a wide tooth comb to section and detangle. If a brush must be used, make sure to start at the ends and work your way up while holding your hair taut at the base.

4. Styling Products – The excessive use of chemical processes like coloring, straightening, and bleaching will dry your hair out if not maintained properly which will in turn cause, brittle, vulnerable hair susceptible to breakage. Limit the use of these products and be sure to condition accordingly when necessary.

Of course there are other factors that also contribute to hair breakage – such as illness and/or nutrition. However, these four factors are controllable by you. If you are able to minimize these causes you will be doing you and your hair a great service.

Have you recently dealt with breakage?
What was the culprit?
What are you doing to remedy things?

Our Daily Bread – Hopes And Dreams

Read: Acts 20:16-24

In 1960, everyone in the high school I attended participated in Project TALENT. For several days, we took tests that surveyed our aptitudes in academic subjects. In addition, we were asked to express our plans, hopes, and dreams for the future. What we didn’t know was that we were among 400,000 participants from 1,300 schools in the largest study of high school students ever conducted in the US. None of us involved in the study could have imagined how our lives would turn out.

The same was true for Saul of Tarsus. As a young man, his goal was to destroy the followers of Jesus (Acts 7:58–8:3; Gal. 1:13). But after his conversion, he became the apostle Paul, whose mission was to multiply them. As he journeyed to Jerusalem, facing prison and hardship, Paul said, “I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace” (Acts 20:24niv).

When our goal is to honor the Lord, He guides and guards us each step of the way. Whatever our hopes and dreams may be, when we place them in God’s hands we know that everything, including setback or success, is under His control.

When we give our hopes and dreams to God
And then leave them in His hand,
We can trust His love and care for us
To fulfill what He has planned. —Sper
Live the Christian life in the same way you began it— by trusting Christ.

Even Brighter

Today’s Scripture:

The way of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, which shines ever brighter until the full light of day. – Proverbs 4:18, NLT.

Today’s Word:

Are you facing a situation that seems dark today? As a believer, God promises that your path will shine brighter and brighter as you seek His truth and righteousness in every situation. What is righteousness? Righteousness is simply being in right standing with God. Being in right standing with God is about submitting your life to Him. It’s about obeying His commands and seeking His plan for your life on a daily basis. As you seek Him, the light of God’s Word will guide you in every decision you face.

No matter what’s happening in your life today, take time to ask the Lord to shine His light on you. Ask Him to confirm His plan for you. As you continue pursuing His truth and righteousness, as you continue to make His Word a priority in your life, you will experience more of His blessings. You’ll see those brighter days as you move forward in the good plan He has in store for you!

Prayer for Today:

Father God, I know that You have a wonderful plan and purpose for me. I desire to be in right standing with You. Show me Your ways and teach me to walk righteously before You. Shine Your light in my heart and give me strength to pursue the path You have in store for me in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Copyright © 2012 Joel Osteen Ministries

Lean Into Him

Posted by Victoria Osteen on 7/31/2012

Have you ever been in a crowded, noisy room trying to have a conversation with someone? If you can’t hear what they are saying, what do you do? Most likely, you lean in just a little bit closer so you can hear them better. You probably focus more intently on their facial expressions so you can understand what they are communicating. In the same way, when the noise of life seems overwhelming, that’s when we need to lean into God just a little bit closer. That’s when we need to make the extra effort to focus more intently on Him.

There’s a passage in First Kings where Elijah goes up on the mountain to meet with the Lord. Scripture says a great, powerful wind blew and broke the rocks, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind, there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake, there was a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire, a still, small voice. This tells me that when life rages all around, when circumstances seem powerful and overwhelming, that’s when we need to wait for His still, small voice.

If you’re in a situation today where you feel like you can’t quite hear God, maybe it’s time to lean into Him a little bit more. Maybe it’s time to tune out the voices of the world so you can set your focus on Him. Maybe it’s time to turn off technology, turn off the phone, and clear your schedule for Him. Know that He loves you with an everlasting love, and He has good things in store for your future.

Today and every day, we need to make sure to set aside time for Him. Let’s be diligent to study His Word and spend time in prayer and worship. When you meditate on Him, when you keep yourself in an atmosphere of faith and surround yourself with other believers, you’ll hear His voice more clearly. He’ll speak to you; He’ll guide your steps and lead you into victory all the days of your life.