Saturday, January 30, 2010

Give Me a Head with Hair!

My hair has always been a big part of my life. I have always had really curly hair. When I was little, I didn't put much effort into fixing my hair. I would wash it and go. As I got older, I would always brush my hair, and unknowingly, brush my curls out. It also became thicker and frizzier and harder to manage. I didn't style it in any particular way.

Then over Christmas break of my sixth grade year, the life of my hair changed forever. My cousin Ellen said she really wanted to style my hair. She showed me how to bring out my curliness! I returned to school in January with my curly hair and some new make up. When I walked into class one boy said, "Whoa, what happened to you?" I think he was giving me a compliment, but at the time it sounded like my new look was more appalling than appealing. I think he was surprised by my much curlier and fuller looking head of hair. Since the sixth grade, I have done just about everything you could think of to fix my hair. I wore it curly most of the time, but I also straightened it A LOT! My straight hair was my parents' least favorite style, but in my defense, I could manage my straight hair better than my frizzy curls.
However, the older I get the more I appreciate my hair. It doesn't take much time to fix, but if I do not treat my hair right when I get out of the shower, then it is a bad hair day all day long!

Tips for curly hair:
But if you do not have curly hair you may find some of these useful as well.

1. Do not pat, rub, or wrap your hair with a towel when you get out of the shower (or just get it wet). Instead, squeeze the water out with your hands before you step out of the shower. Then you can put the towel on your shoulders so water does not drip all over you, but do not put pressure on your hair.

Have some spray in conditioner on hand. Spray your hair and comb it. Do not use a brush, but use any type of comb. This is something I have only recently done in the past year, but it really helped my hair to curl better.

Apply whatever product is needed, but do not overload. As a teenager, I probably applied 4 or 5 different things to my hair every morning. My mom would walk in my room and say that it was too smelly from all of the products I was using. Now I only use 2 products (if you don't count the spray in conditioner).

I have used every curly haired product that exists, and now I know the best ones out there!

Best Shampoo and Conditioner:
Pantene Pro-V for Curls, but Frizz Ease is also really good. For the more expensive stuff, Bumble and Bumble is great!

Best Mousse: Suave Professionals, Healthy Curls Scrunching Mousse. This is the cheapest mousse, and I can only find it at Wal-Mart. CVS carries it sometimes, but it is rare that is in stock.

Best Gel:
Pantene Pro-V Style for Curls

Best Touch Up:
After hair has dried or later in the day when you need a touch up, use Frizz-Ease Secret Weapon, Flawless Finishing Creme
I could go with just mousse, but I use just a small (dime size) amount of gel to help prevent frizz. If hair is still soaking wet, it is ok to squeeze out water again, but this should be the last time you touch it until it is dry.

4. After you have put the product in DO NOT TOUCH IT AGAIN! Touching your hair creates more frizz. The less you touch it, the better off it will be.

5. Curly hair does better when it is completely air dried. If your hair is dripping, put a t-shirt on your shoulders, instead of a towel. This prevents your back or clothes from getting wet, and the t-shirt material does better for your hair. I think it does not absorb as much moisture as a towel would. If you need it to dry it quicker, use a diffuser with your hairdryer. Just be careful not to touch it with your hands too much (reduce frizz, which is my main problem).

Have a good hair day!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

God's Beautiful Creation

This Sunday afternoon was such a rainy day. This was a great day of rest. When there was a break in the gloomy and cloudy sky, I ran an important errand to return my movies to Blockbuster. I've been paying too many late fees. On my way home I saw this beautiful sunset. It was bright orange and pink. Gorgeous! About 15 minutes later, it started raining again.

"God saw all that he had made and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning-the sixth day. Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array.

By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work." Genesis 1: 31-2:2

Monday, January 18, 2010

Home Projects and a Fiesta

Last weekend, I told you how I wish I had before and after pictures of our painted bedroom. Well here they are! We rose out of bed early on Saturday morning for more than one home project. The first project, and first trip to Lowe's, was fixing the busted pipe in our front yard. On Friday morning, a neighbor called my brother-in-law, Stephen, (Nick was out of town) to tell him our front yard was flooded. Thankfully, he was able to turn off our water until Nick could get home. Saturday morning Nick fixed the pipe in the yard with no help from me. We only went without running water for less than 24 hours. Our second project and second trip to Lowe's was to paint our bedroom and get more samples for our bathroom. We changed it from gold to brown. Take a look!

Bedroom before
Bedroom after
The bathroom is next, but I think it may be a while.

Between the first and second coat we made fajitas, drank a margarita, and watched Office Space. Great movie. Very funny. And I am proud to say that I have actually seen Lumbergh and heard him say, "Um, yeah". I was at a restaurant on the mountain in Jackson Hole, WY, and he was actually sitting within 5 ft. from me. Some guys sitting at another table recognized him first and asked him to repeat his famous line. It was awesome! Then once he was gone, my friend and I took his seat at the table! Anyways, back to my fajitas.

Chicken Fajitas
Chicken strips
tortilla shells
salt and pepper
fajita seasoning
Toppings (listed below; subject to change according to taste)

First we marinated the chicken strips.

Salt and pepper the chicken
1 beer (Corona or Bud Light Lime work well)
Some lime juice (If you use a Bud Light Lime then you don't really need the lime juice)
Fajita Magic (any type of fajita spice)
We let this marinade for about an hour, but it would be good to go longer.
We decided to grill our chicken. This gives the chicken a really good flavor from the charcoal. However, you could saute them in a pan, and they would still be really good.
I also sauteed my bell pepper and onion with a little of Fajita Magic.
My toppings:
Bell Pepper
Bean Dip
Sour Cream
Grated Cheese
Put it all together in a tortilla and enjoy!
Have a Mexican Monday! Enjoy a good fajita!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

A Cold Winter Day

I don't remember the last time it was this cold outside for this long period of time. I've been waking up to wind chills in the single digits! Brrr! School was even cancelled on Friday because of the cold weather!

I really don't like winter. I don't like being cold. My lips are always chapped, and my hands are always dry. I can't have enough lotion around. However, this past weekend was quite enjoyable.

Nick came home on Friday night (from Gainsville), and we sat by the fire eating our favorite pizza from Tomatino's (a Montgomery place) while watching movies.

After our routine coffee drinking on Saturday morning we began to observe what we wanted to change about our bedroom and bathroom. We have been wanting to paint these rooms for a while, and we thought this would be a good time to do it. We also wanted to change our faucets in the tub. So we headed off to Lowe's with a full desire to get things done.

We got a few paint samples of the colors we thought we liked, and we looked at bath faucets for a while. Now I wish I could show you some before and after pictures as if we actually accomplished all these things. However, none of these projects were completed. We painted parts of our walls to see if we liked the colors we had chosen. Some of them worked, some didn't. I will be heading back to Lowe's this week to try a few more. And it turns out we can't replace our faucet like we want without tearing out a part of a wall and welding some things together.

Even though we did not accomplish these home projects, I still think we had a pretty successful day. We did decide on paint colors, and it is always fun to make plans for what you want to do to your house. One thing that did get done, was installing a fan in our front living room. This room is just about complete!

On the left is before (big hole in the ceiling), and on the right is after (with the fan)

After watching a few SEC basketball games, I made what I call my Sandra Lee Semi-homemade Meatloaf. Sandra Lee is a chef on the food network, and everything she makes is semi-homemade. I normally do not like to cook this way, but this meat loaf is really good. This is not her recipe, I just call it this because it seems like something she would do. The recipe comes from the back of the Lipton Onion Soup Mix box (pictured below).

Semi-homemade Meatloaf

1 envelope Lipton Onion Soup Mix
2 lbs groud beef
3/4 cup plain dry bread crumbs ( I normally crush Ritz crackers as my bread crumbs. It is pictured below)
2 eggs
3/4 cup water
1/3 cup ketchup (sometimes I add a little more)

Crushed Ritz Crackers for bread crumbs

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all ingredients in a bowl.
2. The directions say to put this in a 13 X 9 baking or roasting pan and shape into a loaf. I just put mine in this 9 x 9 pan and don't worry about the loaf shape.
3. Bake 1 hour or until done. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. I also put more ketchup on top before serving, but this all depends on your ketchup needs.

The ketchup demand is high in our house. We even have separate ketchups.
Nick likes his ketchup cold. I like mine room temp. You can't compromise on everything!
I served this with a salad, and we eat our meatloaf with Ritz. We also enjoy eating it the next day. Nick prefers to eat his cold, and I must agree with him on this one. The cold meatloaf is tasty.

We enjoyed our meal by a roaring fire and watching more movies. I hope you are staying warm! Have a good Monday!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Back to Work But Not Without Celebrating the New Year!

After a nice and needed break, I headed back to work this week. I was dreading it for a few reasons. One reason I was not looking forward to going back is because I had to move classrooms. The teacher next door was moving to a room down the hall, and I had to move to his room. We moved in order for me to have a Smart Board in my class. A Smart Board is a big interactive touch screen that connects to your computer. It is a very cool device, and I have enjoyed it so far. It has just been difficult to move to a new room and move all my stuff while the other teacher is still moving his stuff. I still have all my posters to re-hang on the wall! The students were also a little confused when they returned. Oh well, I'm back to school and trying to adjust back to my work day schedule.

However, before I went back to work I did have a wonderful New Years! Normally, New Year's Eve is not my favorite. There is always pressure to do something big and exciting. Most of the time this can be hard to find. This year Nick and I attended a wedding of one of his friends from Madison. I love going to weddings, and I thought this would be a fun thing to do on New Year's Eve. So along with Nick's family we went to downtown Jackson to attend the wedding. The ceremony and the wedding were in the same building. After the ceremony, the reception was like most receptions I've been to. Food, drink, cake, dancing. Then about 9:00 the bride and groom made their exit with sparklers to guide the way.

Now here comes the fun part!

Once the bride and groom left, and everyone was back inside, the wait staff brought out a bunch of glow stick necklaces, New Year's hats, and fun sparkly sunglasses. Everyone rushed to the tables and grabbed these up like it was money! The reception had transformed into a New Year's Eve party! The band continued to play and everyone danced all dressed up until 12:30. At midnight the band played Auld Lang Syne and everyone kissed. Husbands to wives, friend to friend, parent to child. Everyone gave a kiss to celebrate the New Year! I felt like I was in a movie because of the music, lights, and company surrounding us. Specifically I felt like Sally in When Harry Met Sally. That's one of the only movies I remember with a New Year's scene. Unfortunately I do not have many pictures because I chose not to take my camera. So I leave you with what I have.

We took these once we got back to Nick's parents' house. The hats and glow sticks were a lot of fun! These were taken about 1 a.m.
This picture was taken at the wedding.

This was probably one of the best New Year's I've had!

Happy New Year to you! Check out this website to see the reason behind some of our New Year's Day traditions. It also has some traditions that I have not heard of before.

One more thing about our New Year's Day. After a good night's sleep, Nick and I woke up and went to the Alumni House (bar/restaurant) to watch the Auburn game. There were plenty of big screen TVs and a small Auburn crowd to cheer with. Fortunately after a long, fun, and nerve racking ending, Auburn pulled through. War Eagle!!