Author: Vanessa

Etsy Shop Owner at Vanilla and Rose, Blogger at ConfettiLove.com

Dreadlock 101 : Let’s Do This

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So, you’ve decided to have dreads (or maybe you already have them). Here’s some additional information for you.​
  • To Purchase or Not To Purchase
    • Special Shampoos and Wax : This is completely up to you! Everyone likes their dreads different and has something different in mind. Waxing your dreads can definitely help them lock up but there can be downfalls to wax. Using special shampoos apparently has perks… and others don’t bother “wasting” the money.
      • Here’s what I do/how I feel : When it comes to shampoo, I have mixed feelings… and I also mix what I do. Dreads can use scalp problems for some people and lucky me I’m one of them! (Since your scalp is exposed constantly and the scalp under your dread base never gets air it’s likely that you may at some point get dandruff or at least itchy scalp… I know it’s not pretty to talk about but it needs to be said) Anyways, I use Head and Shoulders on the base of my dreads. I love it! It always gets the base of my dreads nice and clean and feeling amazing on my scalp! The only problem is that is doesn’t help with locking of my new growth. It actually does the opposite but it’s the trade off I have to do to get a scalp that doesn’t drive me insane!
      • As for wax, I own Knotty Boy Dread Wax… I’m still not sure how I feel about it, honestly. I used it a lot in the beginning to help lock my dreads and I truly feel like it helped, a lot… but it’s wax so your dread will not be soft and they will feel sticky… Just something to keep in mind. Now, I usually just use wax when I have a dread that’s being difficult and won’t lock. (I also have their Knotty Boy Gel but I don’t really like it. It dries out my hair and makes it feel like synthetic hair… not a fan.)
  • In the Beginning…
    • No Washing… you can do it! Once you have your dreads, try to not wash them for a week. This will help locking. If you wash right after you dread your hair, then they will most likely loosen up and you will have to palm roll or crochet them again. Save yourself some time and frustration, just don’t wash them! (Some people choose to rarely/never wash their dreads. This isn’t for me but if that’s what you want then this won’t be a problem at all.)
    • Pain. It will happen. I often forget how much pain you can have after the initial dreading (or after maintenance). Depending on how tight your dreads are at the root will depend on the amount of dread pain you will have. If you backcomb, you probably won’t have too much pain, if you use a twist method they will hurt at least mildly for a day or two, and if you use rubber bands (I did at first but now I realize that people weren’t kidding.. they’re not that useful) then you will have some pretty extreme pain (pain killer needed) for a few days, at least. Just remember that everyone goes through this and it is worth it..
    • How to wear at first. This is pretty short and simple, you should wear them down for the first week or so (and after washing) this is because if you put them up immediately they will get odd crimps in them and it will also make your roots hurt even more. Even worse, if you never let them dry completely you will get dread rot… I don’t know much about dread rot but just the name scares me.)  Just another thing to keep in mind.

  • Maintenance / Washing
    • Shampoos and Conditioners : I talked about shampoos shortly before. If you are interested in other shampoo options, it’s called Google ;) … no, but seriously. As for conditioners, I know I mentioned to not use them in the beginning. Now, I don’t suggest this for everyone but if you decide on extensions you may find yourself needing some conditioner from time to time (I do). This is okay but remember to use small amounts and wash, wash, wash! Make sure you don’t leave any in and definitely make sure you don’t put conditioner near where your natural hair and extension meet!
    • No scrubbing. When washing your hair, do not scrub your scalp (or other parts of your hair for that matter). If you scrub, you’ll loosen hair and if you’re looking for a tighter dread then you just made a lot of work for yourself.
    • Crocheting. How to? Should you? Is it bad? I could go on about this but I’ve found some pretty good sites that cover it already. Check them out below. (For the record I do crochet since I have extensions but I try to make sure I don’t rip them and I only crochet once a month or when needed.)
    • Roots. How often? This really depends on how fast your hair grows? I try to do root maintenance every month. I went two months once… it was bad… never again!
    • Extensions and their maintenance: I have included some of my favorite websites and YouTube sites below. I don’t see the point of going into detail about my extensions when you can just go check them out. One video I do love is this one which is how I attached my extensions along with the method mentioned on Doctored Locks
    • Essential Oils : Oils can be a great thing to keep in mind when it comes to the maintenance of your dreads. when it comes to my hair products I now only use aloe, jojoba oil, almond oil and coconut oil. These products are pretty boring (smell wise) so sometimes I mix it up by adding lavender, peppermint, rose, tea tree (also amazing for your itchy scalp) or eucalyptus oils to my locks!

  • Removal. Although I clearly have no removed all of my dreads yet, I did do a lot of removal research before I put dreads in… just in case. For the record, you do NOT have to shave your head. This is the most ridiculous thing I get asked – all the time! Knotty Boy has a great video about removing dreads and also has a kit. If you don’t feel like purchasing this option then some good deep conditioner, leave in conditioner, small comb and a lot of patience and time should do the trick!
    ​** Edit : Since I originally made this post I have removed almost ALL of my twisted dreads and have redone all of my dreads by backcombing them. I had a few backcombed dreads I have redone as well. With this said, it was very simple. At that point, my dreads had been in for almost 7 months and I had no problem removing them. It hurt… but really no more than the typical monthly maintenance!
Okay, so I believe that covers everything for pre-dreading your hair.  Check out some of the sites below for more detailed information.
Great YouTube Channels to check out if you decide to do your own dreads or for dread maintenance help:
  • Doctored Locks - The main site I got my information from before dreading my hair. Most of the tutorials are extremely helpful for whatever stage your dreads are in!
  • Knotty Boy - Basic site with a little information. It really depends on if you decide to wax your dreads or not (more about that in my next post). Also, they are a company so most of their videos are centered around their products so keep that in mind.
  • Astrid - Definitely my second favorite site to Doctored Locks! She has great tutorials with good advice. Her dreadlock extension video is one of my favorites.
  • XXZXCZX - Although she doesn’t have her dreads anymore she kept her dread videos up and they are definitely worth checking out.

Dreadlock 101 : Pre-Dreads

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Okay, so I’ve had a lot of questions about my dreads (and dreads in general) lately… including people asking me to do their hair. So, when I got thinking about what I would need to know from people I decided it might just be easier to just blog about them. So, here we go. This first entry will be centered around being actually getting dreadlocks.

  • Twist vs Backcombing : Yes, there are different ways to make your dreads and they can really change the overall look of your dreads and how they form! (My dreads are a combination of both twist and backcombing. I started with a twist method and proceeded to do backcombing towards the bottom. It works for me but I believe that everyone has their own idea of what they want their dreads to look like.) My biggest suggestion… photos, photos and more photos! Seriously, I did my research before putting in my dreads! Check out my Pinterest board here for some inspiration… I’m not one to brag but it’s one of my favorite boards… (And also where I got the main photo from.)
  • Size… it matters. When looking at dread photos and when preparing to make your dreads keep size in mind. Do you want small dreads or would you like thicker ones. Just something to think about. Remember, if you’re doing backcombed dreads they will start off puffy for a little while but will tighten to be smaller.
  • Loops vs No loops : If you decide to do backcombing then don’t worry about this (it won’t happen that much or at all if backcombed well)… but if you’re doing a twist method then loops WILL happen. I thought they wouldn’t to my hair… 5 months in and hello loops! Now, loops aren’t always bad! I’ve been playing around with whether or not I want to keep my loops. Some I have worked out and others I have crocheted in.
    • Photos of loops : one - two - three
      • I’m not 100% sure but the last photo appears that she has natural dreads with no maintenance which is why her loops are so large vs the previous photos.
    • Photos without loops : one - two - three
  • No conditioner! For a couple of washes before you dread your hair do NOT use conditioner! Why? This should be common sense. Conditioner is made to condition and soften your hair. It will leave residue in your hair and make it more difficult for your hair to lock! Also, while we are on the topic of pre-dread washing, I highly suggest using Dr. Bonner’s to wash your hair! I used it 2-3 times before dreading my hair and I’ve been told since the beginning that my hair has locked really well… just saying! (I have heard of other specific dread shampoo but have not used it yet so I won’t make any recommendations.)
  • Hiring vs Doing it yourself : I did my dreads all by myself… usually when I tell people this I get either a doubtful or a horrified look. Why, not sure? Dreading your hair by yourself is no easy task… at all. If you know someone who is willing to help, by all means, Get Help! If I could go back and redo my original dreading (or even when I do maintenance) I would have a friend help me out! Your arms WILL get tired, you WILL get frustrated and you SHOULD watch as many YouTube videos as possible before you start. Just being honest! BUT, I do promise that it is all worth it… I honestly forget how much of a pain it was until I started writing… ugh… let’s move on…
  • How long will it take? … Okay, I guess I can’t move on from that memory just yet. Now the length of time it will take you will depend on a lot of things. Whether or not you decide to do it yourself, if you hire someone and how much experience they have and, of course, how much hair you have!
    • My experience : I have an abnormally large amount of hair! Seriously, it’s ridiculous. When my hair was straight, if I made an OK sign with my thumb and index finger I could barely fit all of my hair in that O. Anyways, like I mentioned before, I did my own hair and my arms got tired a lot so I decided to do my hair in stages. It took me about a week total to dread all of my natural hair (more about extensions later). I started with the back and moved my way up. This really helped me get through everything and made sure I didn’t get sloppy when my arms got tired. Play around with different hair styles and you will barely be able to notice the awkward stages (although I’ve seen people really pull off the half dreaded look)!
  • Length! Probably one of the most important things people don’t realize. Look at your hair length… now picture it AT LEAST half that length if not shorter. If you decide to backcomb your hair will shrink significantly! My suggestion is to make one small dread and see what your new length will be! It can be a complete shock! Now, if you’re horrified by the fact that your beautiful long hair is not a small stubby dread, have no fear… it’s called REAL HAIR extensions (don’t even get me started on synthetic… ugh… they feel disgusting… I made that mistake…)
Okay, so I believe that covers everything for pre-dreading your hair.  Check out some of the sites below for more detailed information.
Great YouTube Channels to check out if you decide to do your own dreads or for dread maintenance help:
  • Doctored Locks - The main site I got my information from before dreading my hair. Most of the tutorials are extremely helpful for whatever stage your dreads are in!
  • Knotty Boy - Basic site with a little information. It really depends on if you decide to wax your dreads or not (more about that in my next post). Also, they are a company so most of their videos are centered around their products so keep that in mind.
  • Astrid - Definitely my second favorite site to Doctored Locks! She has great tutorials with good advice. Her dreadlock extension video is one of my favorites.
  • XXZXCZX - Although she doesn’t have her dreads anymore she kept her dread videos up and they are definitely worth checking out.

Brown Sugar Cupcakes with Maple Frosting

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I’m back! After a little time away from blogging I decided to come back into the blogging world but in a little different way. I was all about blogging to blog before rather than focusing on my content… that’s my big change for this blog. I plan to blog about daily things or random stuff that comes to mind.

So, what better way to kick off a new blog than a cupcake recipe! I threw these cupcakes together the other day and was blown away by how good they ended up turning out since it was just a trial recipe!

Cupcakes
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 cup light brown sugar
1 cup dark brown sugar
2 cups cake flour
1 cup all purpose flour
4 eggs
1 cup almond milk
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon maple extract

  • Preheat oven to 350F
  • Cream butter in large bowl. Gradually add sugar, creaming until light and fluffy.
  • In a separate bowl, mix flours, baking powder and salt.
  • Add flour mixture slowly to butter and sugar mixture.
  • Add extracts and milk slowly to mixture until fluffy.
  • Add eggs one at a time.
  • Bake regular sized cupcakes for 15 minutes minutes

Butter Cream
1 cup butter, softened
3 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
2 teaspoons maple syrup
2 teaspoons almond milk
1 teaspoon maple extract
1/8 teaspoon salt

  • In a bowl start to beat butter and slowly add confectioners sugar and salt.
  • Once butter and sugar are well mixed, add maple syrup and extract.
  • Slowly add milk until you get the consistency desired.

Tis the Season…

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Wow, where has time gone?! I feel like it’s been forever since I’ve been on here! The holiday season really does fly by for me. Retail is in full swing and my little Etsy Shop has been keeping me busy. So, I apologize for my little absence. For the holiday season my entries will be a little light but if you want to keep up with me check out my twitter or Confetti Love and you’ll most likely see me around those parts for a little while!

Homemade Beeswax Candles

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I’m finally getting around to posting about my beeswax candles that I had on my Instagram a little while back! It’s been a busy few weeks and it’s only going to get crazier as the holiday season approaches… just kidding… it’s here already!! Oh, well. Anyways, Candles! I made a small batch of these the other day and I’m loving them! The best part? They are lasting forever! During Hurricane Sandy I decided to give one a try… I let it burn close to 10 hours and it’s not even an inch down the jar! Amazing. I love my Bath and Body Works and Yankee candles but I’ve been looking for a good “plain” candle for storms and emergencies or if my allergies are getting to me… I found it. I had debated on soy vs beeswax for a while and I’m glad I decided to go beeswax!

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So, what will you need? I used 2 lbs of beeswax (you can get it here or here). I also ordered wicks and wick tabs. I thought a grater may help (like with my body wash) but it didn’t so scratch that from your list of things. Lastly, I brought out my pot that I use to make body wash in. I find it easier and less gross to have one big pot for DIY projects so I don’t have to worry about messing up regular cooking pots and pans.

I started off by putting the two bricks of beeswax in the pot and putting it on medium heat. Different instructions say different things. One place said to keep the wax at a specific temperature… I didn’t have a thermometer though so… yea. One thing to keep in mind is that you are warming wax so make sure you do not have it any farther than medium heat because then you’ll lose some. Mine was on low to medium the whole time.

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While the wax was melting, I prepared my other items. One of the things I did was get the wicks around for the jars. You don’t have to get the wick tabs if you don’t want but I prefer them so I got them!

After everything is prepared and wax is melted, you’re good to go. I used a small pitcher to get the wax from the pot to the candles. Remember to be prepared because the wax will harden on you if you don’t move fast! I set the wicks first with about a half inch of wax and let them harden. Then, I went back and filled the jars to about an inch from the top. I probably would’ve gone closer to the top but I ran out of wax. Also, I did use some masking tape to hold the wicks in place while the candles cooled. Just a heads up, they take a while to cool completely. I ended up letting mine sit overnight.

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So, that’s it! It’s pretty simple. If you’re trying to plan how many to make 2 lbs of wax made 4 candles for me (two large masons and two small). At first I was a little disappointed that it only made a few but now, after burning one, I realize that these four are probably going to last me a while! Oh, and I almost forgot to mention… they smell amazing!

Griddle Cakes

Griddle cakes! I never really gave much thought to them before and when I ran into the Pin above I really wasn’t too sure about how I felt about them. But, I decided to give them a try and wow! I’m a believer now and definitley plan on making more of these amazing little guys and soon! Here’s how mine turned out and the changes I made to my recipe.

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Not as pretty as the above ones, I know… Don’t get me wrong, I love pretty food but more than pretty food? I love good food. So, here’s how I put my little ones together.

1 cup pancake mix
1/2 banana (I hate eggs, so this was the substitute.)
1 teaspoon coconut oil (calls for vegetables oil but I prefer coconut)
1/2 cup soy milk
1/2 cup corn kennels
1/4 cup chopped red onion
6 strips of Morning Star bacon (I later used 2 small Morning Star sausage patties)

I know it sounds disgusting but just try it. You want to put all the ingredients in together and fry them in a pan just like normal pancakes. Top with syrup if you really love the whole sweet and savory taste, like me!

If you think of anything else to add, let me know! I’m definitely planning on giving these a try again!

October 2012 : 101 in 1001

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It’s 101 in 1001 wrap up time. October wasn’t a super eventful month but I got a few things done… here’s what happened:

44. I finally finished getting my 365 photo project printed. It was from the my senior year of college and super old but a goal I’ve had for awhile. The above photos are a few that I took of the project. I ended up with so many photos that you can’t even close the book! In addition to that, I also did two days of A Day in the Life. I put those photos in the back of the book with folders. Overall, I’ve super happy I completed the project and the book! There’s some great memories in there! Also, I barely paid anything for these photos! Just a little tip, sign up for Shutterfly! They send out great promotions and I usually only ended up paying shipping for my photos! This is another reason it took me so long to get all of these photos printed. If I did it all at once I probably would’ve paid a good $200+

83. I only watched two new movies this month for my 50 goal but it got me to the 30 mark! 20 more to go!

85. Another small step but getting there! I made two new recipes within the last month (pumpkin smoothie and griddle cakes) both from Pinterest. I will share the recipes later but these two recipes did get me to 20/25

So, there you have it! A pretty short and simple wrap up from this past month! I have a lot planned for November… hopefully I’ll get it all done!