Learning to Love the Curl.

Three years ago and some change, I had naturally wavy hair that I could coax into curls or blow dry straight, depending on my mood (and laziness level). But what I really wanted was pin-straight hair -- hair that you could wash and let air dry and still have it be perfectly straight. My hair, on the other hand, was not exactly wash-and-go hair. When left to its own devices, it had the appearance and consistency of cotton candy -- just a frizzy nimbus of puff encircling my head. Not pretty. I either had to work curling product into my hair and "scrunch" with my fingers to make it curl, or slave over a blow dryer and hair iron for 30-45 minutes to tame it straight.

So when my salon started offering the keratin treatment (also known as the Brazilian blow-out), a treatment that promised straight hair -- hair that was actually wash-and-go straight -- I jumped at the opportunity. And while it didn't make my hair so straight that I could let it air-dry, it did make a huge difference. My hair was significantly straighter and did not frizz like before, not even in Miami's notoriously humid weather. Plus it significantly cut down on my blow drying time. I was so happy with the results, I did the treatment a subsequent two times. Unfortunately, the treatment had side effects I was not expecting: my scalp became super greasy, to the point where I suddenly found myself having to wash my hair almost every day (before, I could get away with washing my hair a couple times a week). Plus my hair started thinning, something that absolutely terrified me. So I decided to stop the treatments altogether and make peace with my natural hair.

But there was a problem -- my natural hair was taking an awfully long time to return. You see, when I tried to curl my hair like before, it just wouldn't do it. At best, it would create a half-hearted wave at the top and stay straight at the bottom. All of a sudden I found myself having to resort to curling irons and rollers to recreate the curls that were so easy to come by before.

This summer is the first time in over three years that my hair feels like it's finally back to normal. Although the tips of my hair (all that's left that went through the keratin treatment) still have trouble curling, I'm happy to see thicker, wavier growth at the roots. I've been so happy to welcome back my curls that I haven't touched my blow dryer or hair iron in over a week. And my curls and me couldn't be happier for it.

Do you have something about your appearance you wish you could change?

ETA: I just realized this is my 800th post. Woo hoo! Back to your regularly scheduled programming...


Every Argument Every Couple Ever Has EVER.

  via Casey Donahue on Vimeo.

I can't help but simultaneously laugh and nod my head  in agreement as I watch this video. "What?" "What!" Ah, good times.



What happens when quirky musical artist Björk teams up with quirky director Michel Gondry? Genius happens, that's what.


These are a few of my (current) favorite things...

1. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2.
I have a confession to make -- I didn't always like Harry Potter. When the first book came out, I was fresh out of high school and starting college. Harry Potter just seemed so juvenile. Too juvenile for cool grown-up moi. Fast forward a little over 10 years and I'm now a teacher myself. All of a sudden, I was interested in Harry Potter. So I picked up the first book and loved it so much, I ran out and bought the rest of the series. (The good thing about getting into a series kinda late? You don't have to wait for the sequels to be released!) Then I ran out and got the films -- and to my surprise, I realized I loved the films just as much as I loved the books. The same holds true for the last installment, which I was so eager to see, I braved the midnight release. It may not have been completely faithful to the book, but that's not what the films are about -- they're about being true to the integral story, to the heart and soul of the tale. And I think the last film does all that and more. I can't wait to see it again!

2. Suave dry shampoo.
Since I have naturally wavy, extremely oily hair that I usually blow dry straight -- and have to wash every other day -- I am a big fan of dry shampoo. I've bought the pricy concoctions that come in puny little bottles, I've even used baby powder in desperate moments. But my current favorite dry shampoo is by Suave. It actually comes in a sizable bottle, and at under three bucks, it's a frigging bargain. Plus it's got a nice scent, something dry shampoos don't always have.

3. True Blood.
I think this show has been on my favorites list before, but no matter -- I'm loving this new season now more than ever. Why? Because finally, finally, finally, we will see Sookie and Eric **SPOILER** get together. Nice knowing you, Bill.

4. Doctor Who.
This is another show on which I'm currently hooked. I started watching season 1 (of the modern version) while Ricky was out of town last month, just to see what all the fuss was about, and before I knew it, I'd flown through all of the seasons. I'm now eagerly awaiting the second part of the current season, which resumes at the end of August. What is this show about? I'd best describe it as a British fantasy/sci-fi show with its tongue firmly in its cheek. It features the Doctor, a time-lord who travels through time and space in his spaceship, the Tardis, which looks like an old school phone booth on the outside, but is much, much bigger on the inside. Just about every season of the show features a different incarnation of the Doctor, because he's able to regenerate when his life is in danger. So that makes for an interesting show -- the same character is represented by more than one actor. It's a great show -- it's got thrills, chills, and even some romance. (And I may have a teensy crush on one of the previous Doctors, David Tennant.) If you want to check it out, they've got most of the show on Netflix.

5. 30 Day Shred.
 I bought this exercise DVD on a whim a couple of months back because I'd heard so many good things about it. The other thing that attracted me to it was the fact that the entire routine was just 20 minutes long, something I'd have no excuse incorporating into my schedule. I first tried it two weeks ago and have been using it more or less every day since then. While my weight loss has been slow and steady for the past two weeks since I've started dieting/exercising, I'm already seeing a change in my body. I'm starting to get well developed arm muscles for the first time in my entire life (sad but true). I really recommend this exercise DVD if you're someone who wants to get in shape or even maintain your shape. The instructor, Jillian Michaels, may seem overbearing and even sometimes annoying on the show she's on, "Biggest Loser," but she's actually a great motivator on 30 Day Shred -- firm but friendly. The DVD comes with three different levels of the work-out. Since I'm still getting my butt kicked by level one, I'm going to wait a while before moving on to the next one. But I have no doubt I will get there if I continue working hard.

6. Tiny Tower.
This game is my current favorite app on the iPhone. It's like a mini Sims in my phone. The object of the game is to build a tiny tower and manage the businesses and "bitizens" that inhabit it. Yes, it's incredibly silly, but it's a good way to pass the time if you're stuck in a waiting room. You can learn more about the game and download it here.

What are your favorites this month?


Clean Slate

This weekend was a CLEAN ALL THE THINGS kind of weekend. I am ashamed to admit I had let my bedroom fester into an overwhelming black hole of a mess these past two months. My dresser was a jumble of tangled jewelry and makeup pots. The piles of books and what-not in my assorted corners were threatening to reach the roof. The sad part? I'm not even exaggerating. Really.

I would show you a picture of how horrendously messy my room used to be, but I was too busy CLEANING ALL THE THINGS. So there is no before picture. And honestly, I'm too tired to take the after picture. I spent over three hours today and yesterday just going through crap, rearranging crap, and throwing out crap. I filled five garbage bags full to bursting with said crap. (Why do we accumulate so much crap?!) Now my dresser is clean and neat, my floor is swept and free of crap, and my bedroom actually looks ... bigger. Finally I'll be able to exercise without bumping into stuff.

While I'm exhausted as all heck right now, I must admit it feels nice to have a clean room again. It's like having a clean slate -- I now have new ideas about ways I'd like to redecorate my room, maybe change some furniture around. And what this experience has taught me is that I need to be less attached to things, and more organized about the things I actually keep. That way, I won't end up on a future episode of "Hoarders" or anything. *shudder*


What I'm reading now...

What I just finished reading...
I kept running into The Bride Quartet series by Nora Roberts in the book store -- picking them up, then putting them down -- until I finally decided to bite the bullet (what a strange expression, who came up with that?!) and get the ebook set. It had been a good long while since I'd read modern romance (I tend to like period pieces best), but I'd read Nora Roberts before and liked her, so I had high hopes. And the books didn't disappoint. They're about a group of four young women who used to play "the wedding game" as children and later decided to make the game into a profession and become professional wedding planners. Each book follows the perspective of one of the women as they deal with the traumas and tribulations of love and -- you guessed it -- marriage. Are they predictable? Sure. Sometimes unbelievable? You bet. But that didn't make them any less fun to read.

What I'm reading now...
I'm currently rereading the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling. I lost count of how many times I've reread the series -- is this my fourth or fifth time? Don't know. All I know is that I catch something new every time I read the books and fall in love with Hogwarts -- and Harry -- a little more each time. I'm hoping to finish my run-through in the next couple of weeks so I can go watch The Deathly Hallows Part 2 again. (Stay tuned for my review on that -- I'm still letting it settle.)

What I want to read next...
I have absolutely no idea what I want to read next. I'd like it to be something light, since I go back to school in mid August to ready my classroom and won't have time to focus much on anything too heavy. I'd love to hear your recommendations -- have you read anything great lately? Let me know in the comments!


New! (Kinda.)

Hello! Yes, I know I've been gone an awfully long time. My, the place has gotten dusty. But no worries. *flourishes huge fluffy duster* This old place was due for renovation anyway.

The new blog layout may not look all that different, seeing as how the banner is an old one I used to have (as is my blog button, which you can grab on my sidebar to the right), but the pink is something new. It's also one of my favorite colors, one that I have always tried to tamp down, because unfortunately it's a color so many people look down upon -- especially other women.

But I've always loved pink, damn it, albeit a bit secretively. And now I'm sick and tired of trying to hide it.

Along with a new blog layout, you can expect new blog posts in the coming days. I won't promise they'll be as regular as they were in the past, but I'll try my best. Even though I missed blogging and reading your comments, I will admit that unplugging myself for these past 3 months has been much needed. Life suddenly got to be too much for me, as it sometimes does, and I needed to take the time off to focus on that.

But I'm back. And hopefully better than before.