What is Your Hair Telling You?- Take the Porosity Test

What is Your Hair Telling You?- Take the Porosity Test

porosity

Did you know that we can moisturize our hair with water alone? Water is actually very essential to the health of our hair; that’s why we like to see it as the first ingredient in our hair products. We can wash our hair and scalp with water. This method is known as the Water only method which a lot of curly heads swear by. Water can even tell us when we apply too little, too much or when we need to replenish. But what water is really telling us is our hair’s porosity level.

Porosity is the measure at which our hair can absorb moisture and retain it. Each of our hair strands are made up of three important sections, the Cuticle (outer layer), the cortex (middle layer) and the medulla (most inner layer). Our cuticles lift depending on the amount of manipulation or processing your hair receives. Lifted cuticles allow moisture or water to penetrate and escape from our hair which is why some of us feel like our hair dries out very quickly. The more open the hair cuticles, naturally the more porous the hair as it can receive more water. But just as quick as porous hair receives moisture, the moisture escapes from the hair just as quickly.  This is why porosity plays a big role in reaching our maximum growth potential. It forces us to care for our hair according to our specific porosity level.

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There are a few tell signs that let us know immediately what our hair’s porosity level is. Luckily these signs are visible to the human eye so you’ll be able to figure out your porosity level after reading this blog post.

Learn your hair’s porosity by taking our short Porosity test!

1. Do beads of water collect at the ends of your hair just after washing?

YES       NO

2. Is it difficult for your hair to absorb moisture quickly?

YES       NO

3. Does your hair absorb moisture easily?

YES       NO

4. Do you struggle with retaining moisture?

YES       NO

5. Does it take a while for your hair to dry?

YES       NO

RESULTS

LOW Porosity = If you answered mostly YES, you have LOW porosity hair.

HIGH Porosity = If you answered mostly NO, you have HIGH porosity hair.

MEDIUM Porosity = If your answers were in between YES and NO, you have MEDIUM porosity hair.

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Characteristics of LOW porosity

  • Small beads of water collect at the ends of the hair strands
  • Water/moisture does not easily penetrate hair strands
  • Hair cuticles lay flat not allowing moisture in or out so alternative methods are used to help lift the hair’s cuticles
  • You usually do not have to moisturize hair again for at least 3 days

TIPS:

  • Warm up your conditioner before use or apply warm water to hair prior to applying a conditioner or moisturizer for more penetrating results.
  • Use indirect heat (green house method, hooded dryer, steamer, etc) to open the hair cuticles, allowing moisture, protein and nutrients to reach the cortex.
  • Squeeze and smooth moisture into hair with palms
  • Add oils to conditioner for deeper conditioning
  • Try the L.O.C. method of moisturizing

Characteristics of HIGH porosity hair

  • Hair absorbs water or moisture almost immediately
  • hair feels dry even after applying moisturizer
  • color treated or chemically processed hair
  • lifted cuticles

TIPS

  • Do protein treatments to seal the gaps of the lifted cuticle. This allows the hair to accept moisture easier
  • monitor your hair’s moisture and protein levels as too much moisture can make the hair just as supple and weak as dry hair
  • Try protective styling to prevent manipulating the hair so often
  • Always use a water based moisturizer or pure water alone then seal with a butter or oil. See our plant based hair products here

Characteristics & Tips of MEDIUM porosity

  • Can experience qualities of both low and medium
  • alternate between deep conditioning and a protein treatment each wash session

I hope you learn something new about your hair every time you leave here. Until next time My Sweets.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fall & Winter Hair Care Pt.2-Treatments & Protective Styles

Treatments

We usually apply a treatment to our hair when all else fails or periodically and consistently if we love our hair and want it to love us back. What are treatments you ask? The activity of small but mighty microscopic bonds joining together to restore and defend the health and balance of our hair strands and scalp. It’s truly science at work. Let’s take a look at some of the treatments we consider the norm in the natural curly hair community.

Protein Treatment (frequency: monthly)

Protein bonds help fill the gaps of where our hair cuticles are fragile. Protein treatments help our damaged hair strands absorb and retain water more efficiently. Just as we have different curl patterns on our head, we also have different porosity levels in different areas of our head. Porosity deals with your hair’s ability to hold onto moisture. Because of the nature of our hair cuticles opening and closing, the more open your cuticles are, the more porous your hair is and the more water is able to escape.

Typically if your hair is very porous (high porosity) it absorbs water too quickly and constantly needs moisture applied. Frequent protein treatments fill those gaps  Medium porosity hair can retain and absorb moisture just fine. However, monthly protein treatments are still good. Low porosity hair is difficult to absorb moisture and needs steam to open the hair cuticles to allow moisture in. However, once moisture is absorbed, it stays for a while.

There are different protein treatments on the market today like Aphogee. My personal favorite is Green Beauty’s REAL Protein treatment.

Hot oil Treatment (frequency: 2-4 weeks)

I especially love hot oil treatments in the cooler months when your hair and scalp tend to be the driest due to the lack of moisture in the air and low temperatures. My scalp tends to attract build up and get dry quickly and while I refrain from using too much oil on it now, my hair can still benefit. A hot oil treatment is just a mixture of your favorite oils heated up and applied directly to the scalp and hair strands for the ultimate moisture boost. Put on a plastic cap and let the oil get into the hair shaft as your body heat creates steam and lifts the hair cuticles. You can add oil to your shampoo so that it isn’t so drying or take your deep conditioning sesh to the next level.

We handcraft a super hydrating and lightweight oil which is how it got its name, Supersonic Hair Tonic. We fill each bottle with organic essential oils and other botanical ingredients like coconut oil, Argan and Jojoba oils. Our new line will be infused with dried medicinal herbs so be on the look out for these total luxurious hair and body oil blends.

 Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse (frequency: when needed)

Dandruff is a layer of dead skin cells that sit on top of the scalp. It forms due to the scalp’s inability to produce a natural oil known as sebum at a normal rate. When natural oils cannot be produced on the scalp it results in a dry and itchy scalp, similar to how ash appears on the epidermis (skin). When scratched, the dead skin cells on the scalp will flake off. It’s not dangerous but it can be unsightly and embarrassing. Unfortunately there is no cure for dandruff and if you are experiencing any of these symptoms, please seek a dermatologist prior to attempting to treat this condition with store bought anti-dandruff treatments. This could make your symptoms worse or create a problem that was never there in the first place. Instead try all natural treatments like an apple cider vinegar (ACV) rinse or the use of essential oils.

For a natural remedy to dandruff I recommend ACV or mixing tea tree essential oil in your shampoo. About 6 drops per ounce is the 1% recommended ratio. If you experience itchy scalp or see flakes, add 6 drops of tea tree essential oil to an ounce of distilled water and spritz your scalp every day until the itching subsides. Tea tree oil and ACV are anti-fungal and anti-bacterial so they help fight the symptoms of dandruff. You can also just apply organic apple cider vinegar with the Mother to your scalp and let it sit for a few hours then rinse and shampoo as usual.

Other treatments

These are some oldie but goodie treatments that are not as popular anymore but they’re still effective.

Onion Juice Treatment

Inversion Method

Maximum Hydration Method

Protective Styling

Now that you have restored balance to your hair and scalp, don’t you want to protect it and put it away for a little while? I know I do. If I don’t throw in some braids, Im wearing two flat twists for the week or if I’m feeling it, I’ll rock medium sized Two-strand twists for a few weeks so I can have a super defined twist out later. Whatever your preference, tucking away your ends via protective styling is the best way to ensure healthy hair. However, there are some pros and cons to everything that’s good in life right?

Pros

  • Low maintenance hair care for a month or two
  • More time on your hands
  • Less time to prepare
  • The best accessory for that fresh OOTD
  • Keep your hands out of your hair
  • Hair grows A LOT

Cons

  • Tight braiding can cause alopecia and balding
  • Tension can cause damaged hair follicles
  • Itchy
  • Neglecting hair underneath

Protective styling is a curly girls/guys saving grace. Just don’t get so accustomed that you neglect your actual hair underneath. Continue to follow the three steps in Fall & Winter Hair Care Pt.1- Building a Regimen just water down the shampoo and conditioner and I guarantee your hair will thank you. And if you’re worried about your style frizzing out, I have some tips and tricks for that too. See you soon.

Thanks for dropping by. If you found this information interesting or helpful, leave a comment and let’s chat!

xo, Andy

 

Fall & Winter Hair Care Pt.1- Building a Regimen

Happy Fall everyone. It’s that time again. Take a second to look at your hair care regimen. Maybe its time to swap out some products for some more moisturizing ones and hopefully learn some good and natural habits too.

I love delving into this topic because there is so much to cover but for now, we will only discuss hair care for the fall and winter months.

I find out all too often that many of my Andy Candy customers and fellow naturally curly haired ladies and fellas have no clue about the basics of a good hair care regimen. I think not having one is the most intimidating part about going natural for the first time.

What is A Hair Care Regimen?

A hair care regimen is a routine to which one commits to maintain the health and nourishment of the hair and scalp (Quote me Webster lol). Having a hair care regimen will definitely smooth away any of that anxiety you get about your hair “looking” a mess or it being too dry and hard to manage. A good regimen is not in the products we use but the techniques we apply while using those products. Let’s take a look at some.

Cleanse (frequency: 2 weeks- One Month)

Every 2 weeks to a month you’ll want to cleanse your hair and scalp with a plant based and pH balanced liquid shampoo or an all natural no-poo or a shampoo bar (your preference). You catch my drift, a cleanser. A CLEANser is like starting with a CLEAN slate as it pulls the oils and all the nutrients and buildup from the scalp.

Most store bout cleansers that contain sulfates like sodium laureth and sodium lauryl (SLS) strip the hair completely of its nutrients leaving the strands dry or brittle for some people. Plant based shampoos and no-poos that contain organic or ethically sourced ingredients are great alternatives for this problem. Not only do truly organic products render the greatest benefits to our hair and scalp, they will penetrate the hair strands as opposed to just coating them like products with silicons tend to do. Read this if you’re curious to how that works.

During the fall and winter, this technique is good to do monthly or sooner depending on if your scalp needs it. After applying products throughout the weeks, you will want to CLEANse to get your natural oils (sebum) flowing again. I put emphasis on scalp because the scalp is the only place we should directly apply shampoo as to not disturb its natural pH which can bring nasty bacteria. Keep this up and you will have healthy and strong hair from the root.

Condition/Deep Condition (frequency: weekly)

After we cleanse we MUST DEEP CONDITION EVERY SINGLE TIME, Follow this rule even if you think your hair feels moisturized. Your hair needs that moisture and those nutrients put back into it, so this step cannot be skipped even if you don’t use a shampoo. Don’t shampoo? No excuse not to deep condition. There are plenty of clarifying and cleansing conditioners that give our hair strands a reboot and removes the leave-ins, lotions and potions applied throughout the week. It’s good to just wash your hair with a conditioner each week even if it is not time for a shampoo session. If you find that you get build up easily like myself, use a cleansing conditioner each week or an all natural no-poo then deep condition.

Regardless of your hair type, all hair needs moisture and all conditioners are NOT the same. Some conditioners won’t penetrate as deeply so be sure to always follow up with a deep conditioner and let it sit on your hair for at least 30 minutes under a plastic cap prior to rinsing. I know, plastic-yikes! There are not very many eco-friendly alternatives to this method so to get great results and still be kind to mother Earth, reuse the same plastic bag each week for now. Here is a link to my favorite D.I.Y and vegan deep conditioner. It’s totally free from chemicals and harmless to the planet.

This technique is very critical especially during the fall and winter. When it’s cold out, do you feel how your lips get chapped and your hands get super dry? The same happens to our hair. This is why it’s important not to skip wash day to get rid of the heavy products we use throughout the week. Especially never forget to follow up with a deep conditioner.

Moisturize & Seal (frequency: Daily)

Do this if you don’t do anything else, PLEASE! It is critical to keep curly hair moisturized which is why we deep condition with a really good hydrating conditioner and moisturize and seal more frequently than we do anything else to our hair. Do this every day as a beginner and you can dial it back when you learn your hair a little better. For me I can now wait up to 3 days before moisturizing and sealing again. This is called reaching moisture retention.

To moisturize and seal, take a section of your hair and a quarter sized amount of moisturizer (more or less depending on the length of your hair). Smooth the moisturizer into your hair between your palms. Then take another dime sized amount of a sealing oil like our Andy Candy Supersonic Hair Tonic and apply it to the ends of your hair for long lasting moisture. This is how I go 3 days without moisturizing- I seal in my moisture with my AC oil or my Andy Candy Butter Me Up whipped Shea butter.

Now I’m going to stop here because this has gotten wordier than I expected. These techniques are suitable for all hair types and they are a sure way to help you get started if you are new to the natural hair community. These techniques will also keep you on the right track if you are more experienced. For my beginners, take a look here for the perfect starter kit to help jumpstart your healthy natural hair journey.

Other tips

  • Give yourself time to follow these techniques to the T. I reserve the weekend for my wash days and I divide each technique by day. So Saturdays I will wash and deep condition and Sundays I will Moisturize and seal and style my hair for the week. Then do it again next Saturday and Sunday.
  • Wrap your hair in a satin or silk head wrap every night so the moisture you just sealed in won’t come off on your cotton pillow.
  • Keep a hair journal and document your hair phases and how your hair responds to certain products.
  • Keep your hands out of your hair during the week, follow these steps and watch it grow like a weed.

Catch me same time next week for Part 2 of this series where I will cover treatments and protective styling- the real fun stuff!

Until then check out our Etsy shop, Andy Candy for your personal care needs!

xo, Andy

Wash ‘N Go-For VERY Kinky Coily Hair

Wash ‘N Go-For VERY Kinky Coily Hair

Back again, My Sweets! I am very ecstatic about this post because as we Naturals know, the Wash ‘N Go is more like a Wash ‘N Wait and can be a journey in its own. So let’s embark! This past weekend I attempted my second wash ‘n go and boiii did I discover something new about my hair! This lead me to explore more styling options and really dig deeper into the science behind my coils, kinks and curls.

FUN FACT: This post is very old guys. I actually wrote this on February 29, 2016. I was confused because there are only 28 days in February but I checked. That was a leap day!

*** Most of these ingredients in each step, I had on hand so please do not run out and get anything if you do not have it. Step 3 and on is the most critical to achieve this style with super definition so alter these measurements as you see fit. Always remember the amount of definition is your preference. =) Let’s get started!

Preparation

STEP ONE: Make your Bentonite Clay Mud (or hmu here and I can make you a custom one).

            Materials/Ingredients:

  1. Bentonite Clay
  2. Apple Cider Vinegar
  3. Distilled or purified water
  4. Non-metal spoon
  5. Large non-metal bowl

Add 2 T of Bentonite clay, 2 T of ACV, 4 T of water and mix with a spoon until you achieve your desired consistency.

STEP TWO: Make Aloe Vera Juice Leave-in (You can hmu here about this too).

            Materials/Ingredients

  1. Aloe Vera Juice, Whole Leaf (KEEP REFRIGERATED)
  2. Distilled or purified water
  3. Spritz bottle

Add the above ingredients to your spritz bottle, shake and set aside

Other ingredients that you do not have to make, include:

Andy Candy Supersonic Hair-Tonic

Styling Gel

Deep Conditioner

HERE WE GO…

STEP THREE: Detangle and section your hair. Dampen each section with your spritz and apply the bentonite clay mud (step 1) to your hair. Coat every possible strand as best as you can. You should begin to see definition. Let mixture harden on hair for 10 mins before rinsing out.

 

STEP FOUR: Rinse mud from hair with little to no touching with your hands. This prevents the curl pattern from being disturbed. Let the water do all of the work until the water runs clear. HELLO SQUEAKY CLEAN HAIR!

 

STEP FIVE: Apply deep conditioner of your choice, smoothing (praying hands) conditioner into hair. Wrap hair with a plastic cap for 5 mins.

 

STEP SIX: Rinse the conditioner from your hair. Again, little to no touching of your hair.

 

STEP SEVEN: Spray your aloe vera leave-in spritz all over your head (step 3) and apply oil mixture, sealing in the moisture (step 2). Rinse the excess oil from hair. NO TOUCHING. =)

 

STEP EIGHT: Smooth in your favorite styling gel using the praying hands method.

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IG: @Natashaleeds

 

STEP NINE: Clump your curls (shaking your head without breaking your neck) You should see extreme definition and your curls clumping and elongating. (This step can be messy you can go outside or wrap a t-shirt over your head. I didn’t care. I just cleaned the mess).

 

Let hair air dry, diffuse or use a hooded dryer and voila! YOU’RE DONE QUEEN/ KING! 

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IG: @andycandy.co

xo, Andy

Masks & Mimosas

Masks & Mimosas

Andy Candy marked a milestone last weekend and the vision board isn’t even complete yet! It was so liberating. So rewarding. So sensational to vend our first event and it was a curly hair event at that! We sold out of our oils and butters with just a few samples left over. I really hope you all love your products as much as we do and find the benefit and purpose for Andy Candy in your hair and skin care regimen.

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Photos by @arosita

This opportunity came quickly after a month or so of opening our shop on Etsy and could not have come at a more perfect time. I started following this local photographer, Abby from the Tampa area. One day she posted a video about natural hair and of course I wanted to show love. She inboxed me about a curly hair event she was having and the rest was history. (Real genuine networking at work huh???) I was anxious at first when Abby asked me to participate but I knew that if I didn’t seize that moment, I would really regret it and be so disappointed in myself. Check out this podcast (scroll to 5:51) by Lavendaire that I listened to pretty recently to help me face those kinds of moments.

We arrived to Masks & Mimosas at 10am Saturday for the vendor setup. Thankfully my best friend came with me to help because I really could not have done it without her. The event started at 11am and we started selling at 11am. Andy Candy was flying off the fixtures despite that I left one of my fixtures at home that morning. Surprisingly the two scents I was planning on discontinuing made a huge comeback and were our top sellers so we’re going to revamp those a little and keep them around a little while longer. Stay tuned for that!

I was asked to be a vendor and guest panelist where I’d give my 5-10 introduction about Andy Candy. At first I wasn’t too comfortable with doing that but I knew that if I just gave myself the chance and spoke my truth as if I were having a conversation with the people, it’d be much easier. So I practiced my words the entire week leading up to the event and sure enough when the time came, the words flowed. There was so much love and good energy in the place that the next day I received a message from a young woman who was so inspired by my story that she big chopped! The event was so dope and well ran by the GroWithYourFro Group. There was a beautifully decorated table with whole foods and fresh fruits for our DIY hair and face masks and endless bubbles poured all day topping off our mimosas. It was a laid back networking atmosphere with a bunch of rising artists and small businesses in the Tampa Bay area and we all gathered there at Due Amici’s for 2 common goals: healthy hair and to show genuine support for one another.

Mission accomplished.

Here are some Tips to Success I learned from preparing for my first event

  1. Tablecloth measurements (with full drop) WxLxH Total Width= Width of surface of table + the height on either side, Total Length= Length of surface of table + the height on either side Standard 6ft banquet table= 90x132x30″
  2. Use your resources and contacts to delegate tasks to those willing to help
  3. If you have to publically speak, freestyle it, then write it, then practice saying it in different places the way you wold perform it live. Practicing in front of people is also helpful.
  4. Believe In Yourself but don’t take yourself too seriously.
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Supersonic Hair-Tonic- Product Review

Supersonic Hair-Tonic- Product Review

 

Hey!

We recently opened our Etsy shop and we’re so excited to officially share our treats with all of you!!!

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One of our best sellers and my personal favorite is the Andy Candy Supersonic Hair-tonic. It’s a great aid for thinning hair and it’s filled with tons of nutrients that promote hair growth for stronger, moisturized and healthier hair. Like most of our products, this oil is multi-functional. It’s an awesome hot oil treatment, “pre-poo” and a great moisturizer and sealant for more coarse kinky curly hair types that require a little more hydration like mine. I especially love the Supersonic Hair-tonic as a hot oil treatment which is a great revitalizing technique for all hair types in my opinion. One major tip for success when applying a hot oil treatment is that the amount of oil you use is absolutely contingent upon the density and texture of your hair.

Thick and coarse hair– Apply a generous amount of oil to the scalp, hair strands and ends. Two-strand twist and wrap hair in a shower cap for 30 minutes and rinse.

Fine hair– Apply oil to the scalp and rub it down the shaft of the hair. Wrap hair in a shower cap for 30 minutes and rinse. If your hair is too oily for your liking, follow up with a small amount of shampoo and rinse again. (See video)

Here are some quick details of the other uses we mentioned earlier for our Supersonic Hair-tonic:
✔️Prevents breakage- coats each strand, providing the necessary moisture needed to finger detangle and make hair more manageable. Remember you want damp hair because wet hair is when your hair is in its most fragile state and prone to breakage. Which brings me to this next point.
✔️Fantastic Hot oil treatment- try this when your hair is just lacking moisture or feels dryer than normal. This will be like washing your hair for the first time after a silk press. My curls are back!!!
✔️Excellent Pre-poo- similar to a hot oil treatment but this is just the first step before applying any harsh chemicals to your hair like parabens, sulfates and other drying surfactents that are supposed to clean and strip the hair of it’s natural oils.
✔️Prevents Hydro-fatigue-preventing too much moisture from penetrating hair strands as the oil resin coats and protects the hair, which is why we use it as a sealant.
✔️Great moisturizer for protective styles & itchy scalp-keep that protected and moisturized while because just wearing a protective style won’t mean anything if you’re not still nurturing your hair underneath.

Tips to success:

  1. When detangling, always finger detangle first as this helps to pay closer attention to any single strand knots or split ends that should be clipped away so they won’t cause further damage to other strands
  2. For hot oil treatments, try massaging the oil into the scalp to stimulate hair growth.

Have fun!

xo, Andy

DIY: Avocado Deep Conditioner

DIY: Avocado Deep Conditioner

So I have been wanting to share this recipe for a while now. Thanks to a recent and highly requested hair tip from one of my sweet Andy Candy followers whom I love so dearly, I decided that it was about time to share.

If you have not heard by now how enriching avocados are to the skin and hair, let me just enlighten you a bit on the benefits of avocado. Avocado is not only rich in fatty acids and vitamins that are great for us internally but when used topically we can really reap the holistic properties of this beautiful fruit.

Benefits of Avocado

  • Contains more potassium than bananas
  • lowers cholesterol and triglyceride levels
  • Super food containing healthy fats, protein and only yields 2 net carbs in a 3.5oz serving making this a rich and low-carb friendly fruit =)
  • Conditions, softens and strengthens our hair and scalp to prevent breakage and promote moisture and elasticity
  • Prevents hair loss and supports hair growth with vitamins B and E which work at the cellular level

Now for the real deal. Here is my favorite deep conditioning recipe using avocado as the main ingredient.

Avocado Deep Conditioner

Ingredients/Materials:

  • 1 whole avocado
  • 1 Whole banana (optional; thickens mixture)
  • 3/4 to 1 Cup(s) (depending on how long your hair is. I use 1C for my Armpit length hair). of distilled water, aloe juice or a tea mixture (for herbal goddesses)
  • 1TBSP Vegetable Glycerin  (Humectant which is great for boosting the moisture rich ingredients used)
  • 1 TBSP Olive oil (excellent for reducing shedding and rich in oleic fatty acids just like an avocado which is why this is one of the best culinary oils)
  • Blender
  • Rice strainer
  • Bowl
  • Spoon

Instructions:

  1. Cut your avocado in half and remove the seed. (You can save this for composting your plants or growing another avocado tree)!
  2. Use a spoon to scoop out the green/yellow flesh into your blender
  3. Add water and blend
  4. empty the now smooth mixture into a rice strainer over a bowl to remove the pulp. (I have pictures from a few years ago when I did not strain my mixture and boy did I regret it lol).
  5. add the remaining ingredients (Olive oil and honey) and whisk the mixture to your desired consistency.
  6. Apply this mixture to shampooed or freshly washed hair

*If you would like a thicker consistency add some yogurt and turn it into a protein treatment! You can also blend up a banana keeping these same measurements. A banana is not necessary for the mix as we have just read above that avocados are more potassium rich.

Happy DIY-ing! ✌🏾💖

Related Links

Authoritynutrition.com

Livestrong.com

Featured Image

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I didn’t strain my mixture the first time I made this batch and I took it on vacation. Needless to say, I had to go to dinner just like this cause it was NOT coming out for some time.