Shade Bio

Monday, October 21, 2013

"Hide The Last Soda" Kitchen Hack

Have a roommate that always beats you to the last soda, leaving you parched, wanting, and a little resentful?

Well, now you can prevent any thievery and/or pilfering with a nifty little kitchen/life hack.

- The Second-to-Last Soda Can
- An Empty Butter Carton

Proceed after this fashion:

Sunday, September 1, 2013

My Dreading Journey: One Year of Dreadlocks (Pictures)

Hello Otherbeasties! I know many of you have been waiting for this update to arrive and so here it is... time to talk about my dreadlocks being a year old! Back in June/July they celebrated their first birthday, so now officially in August I can post about it, no more waiting! So without further ado:

My Dreading Journey: One Year of Dreadlocks

Left: Just showcasing a quick tied back style for when I start doing yardwork or it's hot outside. 

Right: Loose and in the sunlight. :)

Time really flew for me, if you'll remember my reason for dreading my hair was a commitment to becoming healthier, growing spiritually, and being a happier person. The journey is far from over... but the amount of personal growth in the last year was astonishing. I fully believe dreads really do something magical to people.

 They still like to do some crazy stuff, but mainly they're pretty well behaved for only one year old.

So, since putting my dreads in over a a year ago I've started eating clean - no processed anything - and started doing yoga or walking everyday, and because of those things I have lost a total of 60 pounds. Yeah. Don't believe me? Go back and look at the very first blog entry about my dreads: My Dreading Journey Part 1. 

 From the front and from the back.

Anyway! Thought I'd give you all an update with pictures! Ready? Okay. Well for starters they had shortened up quite a bit in between 6 months and now, but in the last couple months I've seen some length coming back. In fact my dreads now reach the bottoms of my shoulder blades.

 Just a little lefty and righty shot of the two different sides.

They've gotten wilder, crazier, loopier, nuttier, and more a part of who I really am. Anecdotal: I was just up in Austin visiting my family and friends when I decided to pop in on one of my best friends whom I've known since high school. When she saw me her face lit up and she said, "You found your hair!" That right there has been one of the coolest things ever said to me. I love her. <3

 In the shade versus in sunlight, as you can see my dreads are happy, healthy, clean, and shiny. :)

P.S. The reason they're two-toned is because I used to dye my hair and now it's growing out... so, it may look weird but I still love it.

Almost everywhere I go, I have at least one person complimenting me on them, asking me how I did it, as well as asking me if they're real. It's quite funny and I don't mind it in the least. I've become a happier person, a healthier person, and I love my dreads. Sure I miss being able to comb my hair and sometimes I glance longingly at women that walk by with silky smooth tresses, but right now this is me. Maybe I'll have my original silky straight hair back eventually - but right now, this very moment - this is me. And I'm happy.

Right: Just an up-close of several dreads.
Left: Two that I "love-hate" right now. Damn bumps.

 The real part? Well, I must separate my dreads during every shower because they like to stick together and start forming a monster dreadlock, but that's a sign of healthy dreadlocks. I also only use natural soaps on my dreads, meaning the good stuff made with lye and plant tallow, essential oils, and not much else. I really recommend Zum Bar Soaps from www.indigowild.com. They're fantastic and come in great scents like Lavender-Mint, Cedar, and Citus-Sandalwood.

Right now this is one of my favorite dreadlocks because it started out as a braid and has developed a sort of herringbone-like look to it, so I call it my Red Herring.

I also have this annoying genetically-inherited part in my hair at the back of my head that screams, "Look at me. Look. At. Me... LOOK AT ME!" So, I'm debating on how to disguise it... maybe by merging two dreads together. 

See it? I know you see it. Right there. It's shouting at you to stare at it, isn't it? 

This guy is absurd. It's literally a bubble of hair on the side of my dread... like a growth.
"It's not a tumor."

 Here's my Big Fatty. He hasn't changed much, other than entering his teen years and starting to lump and bump here and there. Whippersnapper.

Anyway, I'm not sure what kind of pictures you guys would like to see, or what angles, but feel free to leave a comment and I'll do my best to answer questions or snap photos that showcase certain features of my dreads.

So, there you have it. Dreadlocks at one year old! Thanks for reading Otherbeasties!

Until Next Time,
<3 Shade

My Etsy Shop (Wings and Things by D&D Studios) is full of Handmade Dreadlock Beads and Cuffs! Made by a Dreadie for Dreadies. <3

Other Blog Posts About My Personal Dreadlock Journey:
  •  My Dreading Journey: One Year of Dreadlocks

Tuesday, August 6, 2013



Start loving yourself regardless of whatever "flaws" you may think you have.

For instance: the true hallmark of a real diamond are inclusions or "flaws," (which is just a negative way of saying "characteristics") and without those flaws that diamond would just appear fake and transparent much like an imitation diamond; however like a real, honest-to-goodness, from-the-earth diamond the brilliance of your character will outshine any major flaws and all anyone will ever see is something beautiful. <3

Unless you get thrown under a microscope. Then your flaws become glaringly obvious.

So maybe we should avoid scrutinizing the people we love because really - even if you know the flaws are still there - that doesn't change the fact that it's still a diamond.

Until Next Time,
<3 Shade

Friday, June 14, 2013

Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred Challenge Completed! (Pictures)

Okay, I just finished Day 30 of the Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred. I have results and I have pictures. Since I'm already eating clean, I ignored the diet program and continued on my merry Primal/Paleo way. Wanna see how I did? Read on.

I'm not gonna lie, Jillian is a tough trainer, even at home through a screen; more amazingly, she actually motivates me the way I need motivating. Even better than that? She uses mainly resistance training in the 30 Day Shred series, which is fabulous. She kicked my butt every single day, and I'm a former athlete - granted I've been out of practice for the past few years - but even on the last day I was dripping with sweat and breathing heavy; but the exercise itself isn't that hard, it's actually pretty easy... which is great for anyone looking to break back into fitness or if you're a beginner.


Conclusion: Am I shredded? Hell yeah... underneath the rest of this blubber I need to lose. It didn't give me the exact results I wanted but it did give me *some* results, and I wouldn't trade that for anything. Have I still got a ways to go? Undoubtedly. Am I gonna keep going? Yes.


Oh yeah. There's also this:

That's 5 weeks of yoga right there. Gonna keep doing yoga, yes, it was the JM's Yoga Shred.

In fact, I believe I'll try the Jillian Michaels Body Revolution next. We'll see how it goes from there. Either way, the beast is gonna get loosed soon! Watch out. Fitness Beast Mode, here I come...
Ready or not.

Until Next Time,

<3 Shade

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Primal 30th Birthday: 50 Pounds, 6 months! Fat Loss to the Max!

Hello Otherbeasts! I'm glad you're here. Well, I'm sorry to say that I didn't meet my goal of being 125 by May 8th, or even 130 lbs by then. Where I did land? 137.8 on May 8th, 2013... my 30th birthday.

That is close enough for me! I'm totally encouraged and pumped by my astounding journey because it's not over, oh no, the fun part starts now. Here's how it goes: Sickness, then Wellness, then Fitness, as a dear friend of mine put it. And it's true.

I used to be sick, all the time. 30th birthday hit and I quit smoking cigarettes. Done. Cold Turkey. This month I feel like I have hit the "Wellness" tier and here's why: I also started resistance training and started doing yoga every single day. Because I'm on my path to fitness.

So, here's the entire story summed up: Back in October, 7 months ago and at 190 LBS, I made a decision to go Primal and loose weight for the health benefits. I started eating fully Primal in November, and here we are, 6 months later, and I've dropped 50 pounds of FAT just by eating. Now I'm 140, feeling good, and getting toned. End.

Here's the Journey in Pictures:

So, now I'm determined to fill out my form because I refuse to be "skinny fat." To me, long, lean, toned muscles are beautiful. I'm not talking about those crazy orange body builder ladies... but think someone like Jillian Michaels. She's gorgeous!

Anyway, I've been stumbling a little because my sugar cravings have been through the roof since I've quit smoking! It's murder... I crave Razzles... and Skittles... and Hansen's Organic Root Beer... SWEET. I swear sugar ought to be a legitimate drug... it's addictive, you need fixes once you become addicted, it's super hard to quit, and it's bad for you! It HAS to be a drug. It's just legal and they sell it in 5 pound bricks at the supermarket. What? Yeah.

I also had some bummer news because I started resistance training and yoga while I'm losing weight and so my body has hit a plateau at 140. 'But Shade, I thought you said you hit 137 on your birthday, it's 17 days later, shouldn't you weigh less?' Okay, maybe I'm being overly self-critical and that's not what you're thinking, but let's say you are, so I say: It's not my fault! I'm kidding.

What happened was I started working out and started gaining weight. I started freaking when I got back up to 145, started researching, googling everything I could about gaining wait when starting an exercise regimen and it turns out, it's pretty normal... especially if you were a chronic dieter like I was and lost muscle mass. (Believe me, I've never seriously done any sort of weight training or body sculpting in my LIFE, I always had "better" things to do, so I actually have no idea what my lean body looks like with about 18% body fat.)

(I'm gonna find out.) *GRIN*

So, I'm gaining some muscle (weighs more than fat) and losing fat at the same time, so it's a little hard to tell what's going on with my physique right now. I've only been seriously resistance training about 15 days now, just over two weeks, and I can already tell a difference. They may be small differences, it may only be an inch, but it is my inch, and I can hold on to that! Sorry for the V for Vendetta allusion.

So now I have a new part to my journey: Fitness. I went through Sickness, I'm in Wellness right now, and I'm ready to kick it into Fitness... even though I still have about 15 or 20 pounds to go, and some seriously stubborn fat to shed, here's a preview (I'll be doing photographic comparisons in about three weeks) pose because I felt silly:

Everyone remember, it's not until I reach my goal weight, and my goal body fat, that I'll be going to the beach on that day, hitting Dancer posture and thanking the Lord for his help in accomplishing a healthier temple, a stronger temple, and a more peaceful temple. It was for that reason alone that I made a commitment last June and decided to dread my hair, because I wanted to commit to a healthier lifestyle. So far, so good. I'm also convinced that once I reach Fitness my seizures will finally no longer need treating with medications.

So stay tuned, because I'm about to get shredded. This is a revolution, a metamorphosis, and a transition, and I'm excited about it! Eat like a predator, not like prey. It's time to let the beast out!

To every Otherbeast, thanks for reading!

Until Next Time, <3 Shade

Sunday, April 7, 2013

9 Months of Dread (Dreadlock Pictures!)

Hello my gorgeous Otherbeasts! I've had dreadlocks now for 9 months and what a journey it's been! I have pictures! I've come to sort of love the unique lumps and loops that my dreads continually surprise me with... or I am getting better at dealing with the chaos. Maybe both.

I hope that your weekend was a superb one filled with joy, happiness, peace, tranquility, and rest. If your weekend wasn't that awesome, then be thankful that you woke up this morning breathing! (It could have been worse.)

So, yes, 9 months of dreadlocks and they're still wild and crazy. I even have one I named "Ragnarok" because it looks like a Minmatar ship in Eve.

On the whole though, I'm still in love with them and I believe I'm past the "I want to cut them off" phase... only because when you get down to brass tax, I really hate brushing my hair! And the subsequent shedding.

One of my other favorites (yes, for the un-dreaded, most dreadies have favorite dreads) is one I call "my big fatty," because it's still the one that tightened up quickest, hasn't got drastic lumps/bumps/loops, soft like cotton rope, and is a pretty nice size.

Perhaps my favorite thing of all is no hair ties! It's by far, the coolest thing ever.

I advise anyone thinking about getting dreads to think long and hard on the subject, they WILL change you as a person... but only for the better. Plus every single day is a surprise because they're all doing something different than they were yesterday.

Love you Otherbeasts! And thanks for reading! Stay tuned because I can't wait to see what the one year mark (June) brings to my dread party! Take care Otherbeasts.

Until Next Time,
<3 Shade

My Etsy Shop (Wings and Things by D&D Studios) is full of Handmade Dreadlock Beads and Cuffs! Made by a Dreadie for Dreadies. <3

Other Blog Postings About My Personal Dreadlock Journey:

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

50 Pounds in 5 Months! (PICTURES!)

Holy smokes, Otherbeasts! I have lost 50 pounds in 5 months (150 Days) just by eating Primal!

These are a size 14 (maybe 16) jeans that were TIGHT when I bought them.

 Mini-goal of 140 lbs reached today! That's 50 pounds lost so far! That means only 10 lbs left to shed to reach my first real goal of 130 lbs.

Same jeans, different angle.

Seems like only yesterday I stepped on the scale and saw "190" and cried because it seemed like I had so far to go. Go Primal or go home! If I can do it then so can anyone!

There's pics this time around, but the big unveiling will happen May 8th... my 30th birthday. I'm talking straight before and after pics! But in the meantime, I had to show you the progress.

Crazy, right? I'm still amazed... not with myself, but with the Primal lifestyle.
Remember, don't eat processed crap. And visit this site:
- MarksDailyApple.com

It's called the Primal Blueprint. That's all I've been doing.

So that's 10 (hopefully 15) more lbs to go until May 8th, my 30th birthday! On that day I would like to step on the scale and have it read "125." So, I'll be hunkering down now and actually doing SOME exercise. Blech. But I am almost there! Thank you Lord! This isn't possible without Him.

Until Next Time,
<3 Shade