Tea Tree Thyme clarifying shampoo

By Francine Holmes

 Using Tea tree oil can prove extremely beneficial for any hair and skin care routine.

tea-tree-oil-1024x741The tree oil, extracted from the tea tree plant is a safe essential oil that has a strong very distinct minty, balsamic and almost medicinal smell. Tea tree oil has multiple benefits due to its antiseptic, antimicrobial  and antifungal properties. It can help heal cuts, infections, rashes and on hair reduce dandruff and the associated itchy scalp by getting rid of bacteria causing breakout.FancyNaturals’ Tea Tree Thyme is a must-have for your hair and skin care routine.TeaTreePromotion25

Our Tea Tree Thyme clarifying hair and body shampoo is the perfect balance to help you to achieve healthy hair and skin. The combination of tree tree, eucalyptus and Thyme, other effective antiseptic and deodorizing agents that stimulate circulation makes our shampoo a gentle astringent for oily, combination, or normal complexion.

It leaves your hair and scalp feeling clean and refreshed.

Our shampoo is an infusion of botanical extracts with aloe vera, vegetable glycerin, a moisturizing humectant to add body, slip and retain moisture. Tea Tree Thyme is a gentle and deep cleansing formula helps control frizz while giving your hair shine and manageability. It cleanses and removes product build-up, impurities, oil and dirt with a cooling and tingling feeling

As always our products contain No Parabens, No Petroleum,  No Mineral oil  or Artificial Colors!

 

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Baby Swaddle Hack

The current trend for parents is these beautiful swaddles, (pictured right) with hip designs. They are all the rage, celebrities are rocking them which further adds to their appeal. As a first time mother of newborn twins, I wish nothing more than to hang on to any remaining shred of coolness! So in wanting to keep up with the Joneses yet be practical about the demands of two babies, I DIYed the heck out of these swaddles. The brand name swaddle set retails at $45 for a pack of 3. So to  provide some cost comparison to our DIY project, that price is representative of the higher end currently on the market.

                                                                            If you’re on a budget, your best option is to DIY the heck out of it!

Gauze or muslin, the names are sometimes interchangeable.  There is not much difference between the two fabrics, they are both equal weft plain weave, ultra lightweight, semi-sheer cotton fabric with the exception that gauze is a lighter material.

The muslin I used is sold on Fabric.com for $3.97 a yard, measuring 45 inches x 36 inches. The brand name swaddles are slightly bigger measuring at 47in x 47inches. For my purpose I only needed a yard, you can off course get more than one yard, so let’s get started!

My supplies and cost:

  • 1 yard of fabric (3 -one yard) $3.97  ea
  • Tulip soft matte fabric paint 2oz (available at craft store or Amazon – your choice of color) $3.25 ea
  • Wooden stamp $ 5.00 (Etsy has a wide variety like the one shown from great vendors-link included)
  • 2-3 paint brushes (depending on the number of colors you’re using) $0.99 ea
  • 4-6 thumb tacks (optional)
  • 1 cardboard box (prevents paint from seeping through and protects your work surface) free  

  It all adds up to a grand total of $25.39

That is a fraction of the the cost for the brand name item, and keep in mind that the paint stamp and brush are a one time cost. When you’re ready to do it this again, you only have to purchase the fabric.So lets get started:

First begin by gathering all of your supplies, it helps to be organized. Find a large surface to work on, place the cardboard on your work station, this is optional but you can use pins or thumbtack to hold the corners. Brush the paint into the stamp and press it on your fabric. And repeat this process until the desired pattern is obtained. Clean up is easy, simply rinse all of your materials with warm water and leave them out to dry and done.


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Tamarind Juice (Tomi Dji)

Tamarind juice is one of my favorite childhood drinks, it is easy to make, refreshing and helps beat the summer heat.

I have found different versions of this recipe, some were creative enough to make it into an alcoholic  cocktail, which I never attempted since I prefer it virgin. It is one of those stand alone drinks  that just doesn’t  need it. A chilled pitcher of Tamarind juice TamarindJuice can be quite refreshing and you can toss in slices of lime or lemons for extra freshness. For my recipe, I use Fiji Islands Natural Tamarind ( pictured below) It makes figuring out measurements, water to tamarind/juice ratio so much easier than when using the individual tamarind pods.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of tamarind paste (link attached )
  • 1 cup of agave (or less, you can also use sugar, sweetener or honey) 
  • 1 tbsp of vanilla extract
  • 32 oz of water
  • 1 oz of lemon or lime juice
  • 5 oz of pineapple juice (optional)

Preparation:81rdcLEEvtL._SY679_

Place the tamarind paste into a large bowl or pitcher, then pour in some of the water (10-12oz) gradually while stirring the paste. Leave it for about 10-15 minutes in order for the paste to soften and to completely dissolved.

Using a wooden spoon, break up the paste(if any), continue stirring as you add the remaining water. Using a sieve, filter the mixture to separate the pulp.

Now keep stirring as you add the remaining ingredients: pineapple juice, vanilla, lemon juice and agave. Place in refrigerator to cool or serve chilled with ice.

Enjoy and bon appétit!

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African Print Jumpsuit

By Francine Holmes

I found this gorgeous piece on one of my favorite websites for African clothing. This particular piece is handmade,  100% cotton wax print jumpsuit with two side pockets, a pleated waistline and comes with a detachable sash.

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 Available for sale on Zuvaa.com

 

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Happy 4th of July

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Eponge Filet – African Exfoliating Body Net Restocked

Eponge Filet – African Exfoliating Body Net  is back in stock and available for purchase while supplies last!

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Used for centuries in Africa, this net is used in the shower as the perfect tool to clean and exfoliate skin. The washing net is great for the removal of dead skin cells and enhancing circulation. A great exfoliating tool, the net may feel harsh at first, but the texture softens after repeated use.

The net stretches to allow you to get to those hard to reach places like your back with ease. It is easy to use, when done simply rinse and hang it to dry. The net traps less bacteria than a washcloth, so it is recommended disinfecting every 4 months by soaking in boiling water.

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Nets are available in assorted colors and measure approximately:
-Regular:38in long/16in wide*
-Long:60in long/16in wide*
* These measurements are an approximation based on the nets’ stretched length, however it can vary by a (+) or (-) margin based on net’s texture.
–Long is ideally recommended for adults–

 

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African Black Soap

by Francine Holmes

Originating from West Africa, African black soap is a gentle cleanser made from il_fullxfull.844678976_l1adShea nuts, plantain skin, camwood and palm oil through a unique process that has been passed down for generations.

African black soap is an effective cleanser for daily use on all skin types.  It contains an abundance of antioxidants, iron, cinnamic acid, and vitamins A and E.

This soap is all natural, soft in texture and clean, earthy scent has remarkable skin healing properties.

The high Shea butter content makes it ideal for achieving and maintaining smooth, unblemished skin.  The ashes used in making the soap give it wonderful exfoliating properties to soften dry, irritated skin.  African black soap also works great at reducing  breakouts, skin discoloration, and razor bumps, and helps your skin retain its elasticity. Additionally, African black soap can also be used as a makeup remover, a shampoo that cleans out product build up, a moisturizer for dry scalp, and even a dandruff minimizer. 

 

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Memorial Sale

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Yimbégré at BAM

by Francine Holmes

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A few months ago, a couple of girlfriends and I attended the world premiere of Yimbégré, a wonderful performance conceived by talented African choreographer Souleymane ‘Solo’ Badolo, at BAM (Brooklyn Academy of Music).

The show opened on a pitch black stage in absolute silence for what seemed like an eternity, which was then broken by melodic chants of a man perched and drumming on a calabash. He was later joined by two other performers (Souleymane Badolo & Sylvestre Koffitse) They slowly converged in this swaying and chanting cadence until reaching center stage…and then silence!

The entire three-man show was filled with many similar moments. Each twist, leap, and brush between performers was at times fluid and at others deliberately clumsy.  Regardless, it was clear how attuned they were to one another.

After the show, my friends and I had a discussion about our individual perceptions of this wonderful performance. Interestingly, we had different take aways and themes ranging from brotherhood or friendship to love lost between two men–if the latter! I would say it is quite a progressive undertaking for African performers, who have long contended with censorship over some subject matters that are considered “controversial”.

The show was performed primarily in Dyula  and some French was peppered in toward the end (some of which I thankfully managed to understand as both are spoken in Ivory Coast).  We were all pleasantly shocked at the finale, when all three performers dowsed each other with water-filled calabashes and stood center stage once more in silence, as it was at the beginning.  Overall, it was simply a delightful performance by a conceptual visionary (Souleymane Badolo) and we thoroughly enjoyed it.

 About the creator of Yimbégré, Souleymane ‘Solo’ Badolo. He was born in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. He started his professional career as a dancer for the DAMA, a traditional African dance company, and in 1993, he founded his own Burkina Faso-based troupe, Kongo Ba Téria, fusing traditional African and western contemporary dance aesthetics. Solo has danced with world renowned choreographers and performed with the National Ballet of Burkina, choreographed for a number of companies, and developed a program at The Center of Dance, Music and Theatre in Rome. (newyorklivearts.org)

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Conceived and choreographed by  Souleymane Badolo  Performed by Sylvestre Koffitse *  Akakpo-Adzaku   Original music by Souleymane Badolo * Mamoudou Konate * Mamoudou Konate  Additional music by Dar-es-Salaam by Diamond Platnumz


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Let’s make a moisturizer

by Francine Holmes

Changes in weather can wreak havoc on your skin no matter the type, that is why a moisturizer is calendula-and-chamomileso desperately needed.

Moisturizers serve many purposes, they  soothe, soften and mostly create a barrier that protects skin and prevents loss of moisture.

 Here’s an easy and generic D.I.Y recipe, it is made with very simple ingredients that can be purchased at any local supermarket or health food store.  Here’s a quick tip, a good moisturizer should always have the following ingredients: an emollient, an emulsifier, a humectant, an absorbent agent and finally the active ingredient. For our recipe we will need:

  • Shea Butter, Coconut oil and jojoba oil (Emollients)
  • Beeswax (Emulsifiers)
  • Glycerin or Honey ( Humectants)
  • Essential oils or infusion* (absorbent agent)
  • Vitamin E (active ingredient)

*infusion is the process of extracting chemical compounds or flavors from plant material in a solvent such as water, oil or alcohol, by allowing the material to remain suspended in the solvent over time (a process often called steeping) wikipedia.org

Directions:

Melt your solid ingredients ( Shea butter, Coconut oil and beeswax ) – If using an herbal or floral infusion, warm it to approximately the same temperature as your melted solid ingredient mixture. If not, add a few drops of  your favorite essential oil scent, mine is lavender, it is so calming and soothing.

Gradually add your infusion to the your melted solid mixture while whisking consistently with your hand mixer. Once thoroughly mixed, leave it to cool; add your humectant glycerin or honey and then your active ingredient Vitamin E.

It is easy, fun to make and most of all you’re in control of your ingredients. Enjoy

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