14 December 2013

킴씨머리 (Kimshi Meoli) Product Review: Curl Junkie Curl Rehab (Staple Alert!!)

Description of your hair: (1) medium density (2) fine and medium texture (3) normal/low porosity (4) Daughters OS + cottony/silky.

Name of Product in Review: Curl Junkie Curl Rehab Gardenia-Coconut, 8 oz for $20; 32 oz for $65

Product Description (from the jar): “Give your hair the moisture it deserves. Check your dry, frizzy curls into rehab! Give your hair the chance to rejuvenate and revive with aloe, herbs and rich butters & oils."

Product Ingredients (from the label): Water, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Cetearyl Alcohol, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter) Fruit, Behentrimonium Methosulfate, Equisetem Arvense (Horsetail) Leaf Extract, Urtica Dioica (Nettle) Leaf Extract, Melissa Officinalis (Melissa) Leaf Extract, Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Leaf Extract, Yucca Leaf Extract, Rosa Mosqueta (Rosehip) Fruit Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter, Theobroma Grandiflorum (
 Seed Butter, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Vanilla Planifolia Oil, Cananga Odorata Oil, Lecithin, Fragrance, Citric Acid.

Fragrance: Lightly floral; I believe that it is the smell of the Gardenia flower that gives it that aroma. I'm not usually a fan of floral scents (and my nose is highly sensitive to them), but this is a very pleasant and light one. I even enjoy sniffing it just because!

Texture: It's a thick, off-white creamy texture. Shake it upside down and it won't move. But put some on your finger and it doesn't feel quite so dense. It keeps my fine strands moisturised without weighing them down with heavy ingredients.

Ease of Application (1-5 with 5 being the easiest): 10 - It's SUPER easy to apply! It glides onto my hair no matter what.

Your Experience: I first won the CJ Curl Rehab in a giveaway from CurlyNikki earlier this year. I was doubtful of its amazingness because I'd only seen waterlily716's review on it, and her texture is very different from mine. Still, I decided to give it a shot. At the time (February/March), I DCed before I hopped into the shower. So I wet my hair and started to apply the Curl Rehab in sections. I was immediately struck by how thick yet light it felt on my fingers. And then I was floored by the ridiculous levels of slip! Even my dry, rough ends gave way. Every tangle that was in my hair melted away instantly. I finger detangled and deep conditioned my entire head with less than an ounce of product! I ended up using the 8 oz jar of the Curl Junkie Rehab at least 9 times to DC. Fast forward to today, and I repurchased the huge 32 oz canister of the Curl Rehab with the pump. My hair has several more inches of length, a bad hair coloring experience ( = dryness + more breakage) and a wide tooth comb to contend with. Same unbelievable performance. It melts tangles away whether I apply it to soaking wet, damp or bone dry hair. It is well worth the hefty price tag, and a little goes a very long way! I love, love, love, love this stuff! So Waterlily716 was right after all ;-P

Would you recommend to a curlfriend: Yes, yes, a thousand times yes! I have already told a few curlies on IG and IRL about this DC. I think it'd work for a wide range of hair textures and do a superb job on each one.

How many curls overall (on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the kitties titties!): Definitely a 100! There is absolutely nothing negative about this product!

Price range SN: Again, like many other uber-natural products, the Curl Rehab carries a relatively hefty price tag in comparison to its size. However, if it's purchased when Curl Junkie has a good sale, you get a better deal. Also, consider the quality of the ingredients included in the product. Additionally, when if you estimate that you use 1 32 oz bottle (or 4 8 oz bottles) in 8 months (1 oz/week for 32 weeks) and divide $65 by 32 weeks, you get approximately $2.03 weekly. If you use only 0.5 oz a week, the 32 oz bottle would last you into the next year and the cost would decrease even more. For some it's not worth it, and that's fine. Do you, boo (in the words of Shameless Maya)! For me, however, the price tag is well worth the level of quality.

Ciao, bellas!


My large bottle of the Curl Rehab Gardenia Coconut!

02 June 2013

킴씨머리 (Kimshi Meoli) | Caprylyl Glycol vs. DMDM Hydantoin: What's in Your Bottle of TRESemme Naturals?

Naturals Nourishing Moisture Conditioner Aloe Vera and Avocado

If you have been in the natural world for longer than a day, you have likely heard of or experimented with the TRESemme brand of conditioners. A self-described "affordable yet professional" line, TRESemme carries a wide range of products - shampoos, conditioners, serums, hairsprays, dry shampoos, mousses, gels, heat protectants, deep conditioners, etc. It was one of the first product lines I used during my transition and ongoing natural odyssey; for 2.5 years I have used a various assortment of their shampoos, conditioners and deep conditioners with great success. Though the majority of the TRESemme lines offered were not free of sulphates or silicones, they still had Tightly Curly (TC) friendly ingredients most of the time, and their low fragrance (and comparatively low price) appealed to me.

Since going fully CG over the past few months, I transitioned from using the regular TRESemme conditioners and shampoos to the highly acclaimed conditioner sitting in many naturalistas' shower caddies: TRESemme Naturals Nourishing Moisture Conditioner. Though it came in a smaller 25 oz. bottle and was silicone free, it still had the same great slip and moisture available in the regular conditioners from TRESemme's regular lines. I have used it for deep conditioning, detangling and conditioning, and even as a leave in on occasion. For the price (about $3.50-$5.99 in most Targets, Wal-Marts and drugstores), it has relatively good ingredients. The fragrance does not bother me much and it is free of dyes and many other potential irritants. It sounds almost perfect, right? That's what many curlies and coilies thought, as well. But apparently the chemists at TRESemme felt that something was left to be desired in the 2011 reformulation of the product. Yup...they've changed it again, folks. The second one in less than 5 years (it was reformulated back in 2011; the isopropyl alcohol [drying, short chain] was removed, and more avocado oil and aloe vera were added to the formula).

Anytime I'm in a store with a hair care aisle, I stop by and see what they have. Last week, I was in Wal-Mart with one of my friends, and as I glanced over the TRESemme section, I noticed that the bottle design for TRESemme Naturals was different. With dread, I picked it up, flipped it over, and felt my heart sink to my toes as I saw the new list of ingredients:

The new ingredients list for the TRESemme Naturals Nourishing Moisture Conditioner: Water (Aqua), Cetearyl Alcohol, Stearamidopropyl Dimethylamine, Behentrimonium Chloride, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Brassica Campestris/Aleurites Fordi Oil Copolymer, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Fragrance (Parfum), Dipropylene Glycol, Potassium Chloride, Lactic Acid, Disodium EDTA, DMDM Hydantoin, PEG-150 Distearate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Lauroyl Lysine, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone.
Here's the previous ingredients list for comparison: 
Water, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Stearyl Alcohol, Cetyl Alcohol, Stearamidopropyl Dimethylamine, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Brassica Campestris/Aleurites Fordi Oil Copolymer, Fragrance, Caprylyl Glycol, Aspartic Acid, Lauroyl Lysine, Distearyldimonium Chloride, Benzyl Alcohol, Citric Acid.

In the new list, the ingredients highlighted in blue were in the previous formulation, but their proportions have been changed (the AVJ and water are about the only things that stayed the same lol). The ingredients in red are new additions. In the list of ingredients just above this paragraph, the bolded ingredients are the ones that remained in the newest formulation. I did a bit of research on these ingredients, and here's some info I found on TightlyCurly.com about the newest additions to the formula:

Cetearyl Alcohol
Used as an emollient, emulsifier, conditioner, and thickener. Not the same as SD alcohol or ethanol. This is actually a mixture of Cetyl Alcohol and Stearyl Alcohol [Hunting (Conditioning) pg 142].

Behentrimonium Chloride
Used for detangling and as an anti-static ingredient and emulsifier [Begoun pg 75, Winter pg 100].

Dipropylene Glycol
Similar in function to propylene glycol. Humectant. Pg 211, 428. (Propylene glycol: Humectant. This is a clear, colorless, thick liquid. Can penetrate the skin better than glycerin, but is less expensive. Second in moisture-carrying abilities only to water. Can also be used to dissolve ingredients (in the way that water can dissolve them). Winter pg 428. Rumors have circulated that it is bad, but there is no research validating this. For more information, check out Propylene Glycol Begoun pg 1326.)

Potassium Chloride
 Used in products as a cheap thickener. Considered to make the product a bit more stable than using Sodium Chloride as a thickener instead. Potassium Chloride is a salt. Comes in colorless crystals that are salty in taste. Used in food as well as in cosmetics [Winter (7th ed) pg 426; Hunting (Conditioning) pg 339].

Lactic Acid                 
Lactic acid is used in hair care products mainly to adjust the pH, but may also be used as a humectant. Lactic acid occurs in sour milk through fermenting lactose, but it's also prepared commercially. Since it is considered safe (in small doses), it is often used to adjust the pH in products. Since it also somewhat increases the moisture content in hair in small amounts, this is an added benefit to including it. In high enough concentrations, it can harm your hair, but in the small concentrations usually used in hair products (it usually appears at the bottom of the ingredients list, meaning there isn't much of it in there), it's fine [Hunting (Conditioning) pg 258].

Disodium EDTA
 Chelating ingredient that attracts the minerals away from the hair shaft and helps them rinse away. Good to use after swimming [Begoun]. Aso used as a preservative. Considered harmless in cosmetics at low levels. Sold as a water soluble white powder that is slightly acidic [Hunting (Conditioning) pg 185].

 DMDM Hydantoin
Preservative. (Preservative:  Used to keep microbes such as bacteria, mold and fungus from growing in your products. Though many are controversial, it's believed to be much better to use products with them than without. For more informaiton, see Paula Begoun’s Problems With Preservatives?.)

PEG-150 Distearate

Most research that's been done on these two preservatives have been done on how Methylchloroisothiazolinone (and) Methylisothiazolinone work together. These preservatives are known to be corrosive to skin, irritating to eyes, and toxic to fish. However, in the low doses of it used in cosmetics, they haven't been found to be irritating so long as it isn't used in concentrations above 0.12 percent. The reason these two ingredients are so often found together is because when they are combined, the kill off nearly all microbes, and not much of them are needed to do so. They also work over a wide range of product pHs. When these two ingredients are sold as a ready-made mixture, Magnesium nitrate (as well as a little Magnesium chloride) is often added to them (though it's not usually listed in ingredient lists as being there) [Hunting (Conditioning) pgs 276-277].

 From all appearances, it seems like TRESemme's chemists were trying to thicken up the formula. Some of the changes make sense to me. The switch from stearyl and cetyl alcohols to simply cetearyl alcohol, for example. And moving the avocado oil from spot #5 (after water) to the number 4 slot. Even adding more stearamidopropyl dimethylamine (the main slip ingredient in much-loved Aussie Moist) seems like a positive change to me. Others, however, I'm not so sure about. All of the preservative switch-ups, as a prime example. The several preservatives grouped together at the end of the old formula were traded for less gentle ones, and even one that has the potential to be formaldehyde-releasing - DMDM Hydantoin. I'm also not thrilled about the potassium chloride. My hair is particularly sensitive to short-chain alcohols and drying salts, so I may not be able to use this as my staple rinse out conditioner any longer.

As disappointed as I am that it looks like TRESemme fixed something that wasn't broken, only time will tell how this newest formulation pans out in the textured hair world.

A shot of the TRESemme products section in the Target near my house. The newly reformulated conditioners have a black background against white letters, as seen in several of the bottles above. As you can see, the Naturals line isn't the only one that received a makeover. I checked the back of all of the shampoos and conditioners, and TRESemme added harsher cleansers to the shampoos like TEA-dodecylbenzenesulfonate, and potassium chloride, mineral oil and/or isopropyl alcohol to almost all of the conditioners. It just looks like a downgrade in product quality, which is saddening.
Do you or any of your family members use TRESemme or TRESemme Naturals? Have you tried the reformulated conditioner? Does it work the same on your hair? If you haven't tried the newest formula, do you think that you will purchase it and try it, or will you look for another product? Let me know in the comments below, bellas!

04 May 2013

킴씨머리 (Kimshi Meoli) Product Review: The Healing Place (THP) Daily Greens


Today is another product review, bellas. I'm super excited about this one, and I couldn't wait to write this review! More info about the company is after the initial review.

Description of your hair: (1) medium density (2) fine and medium texture (3) normal/low porosity (4) Daughters OS + cottony/silky.

Name of Product in Review: Daily Greens, 4 oz for $10

Product Description (from the jar): “Antioxidant rich green tea, soothing avocado, and nourishing grape seed that come together in creamy goodness to give your skin its daily dose of greens.” 

Product Ingredients (from the label): Avocado Butter, Grape Seed Oil, Green Tea Extract, Vitamin E, Matcha Powder, Fragrance (phalate free), Loads of Love.

Fragrance: Very green tea-esque. I enjoy smelling it even at random times during the day because the aroma is so relaxing and therapeutic. If you don't like the smell of tea, though, you might not like this fragrance.

Texture: A thick, fluffy butter. It has enough weight to keep a light case of the fuzzies/frizzies at bay, is light enough not to weigh down finer strands, and emulsifies quickly (about 5 seconds in my experience).

Ease of Application (1-5 with 5 being the easiest): 5 - It's very easy to apply. It practically glides onto my hair, even on top of other products. It's also easy to apply to skin, too.

Your Experience: When Nubian, the founder of THP, first opened her store, I kept hearing great things about the Daily Greens butter from the other CN ladies. I ordered the travel size (2 oz) of it, and tried a bit of it on my skin when it arrived. It made my dry patch of eczema feel like buttah! I then used it at my next wash session, utilising it after my liquid and cream leave ins and under my flax gel. I was amazed at how readily it emulsified, and how well it sealed in moisture in my hair. My hair stayed moisturised all week long; I didn't have to reapply any products at all! Every time I've used it, it has delivered the same stellar results. I love it! 

SN: $10 may seem a bit steep to some for "only" 4 oz of butter, but remember the ingredients in the product, and that a little goes a long way. I'm on my 4th week of the 2 oz travel size jar, and it might've lasted me until next weekend if I wasn't so heavy handed with it. So, for me, two 4 oz tubs = 16 weeks/4 months of use. That's only $5/month, which is a great deal for such high quality ingredients.

Would you recommend to a curlfriend: Yes, yes, yes, and yes again. This is a great all natural butter that a wide range of curlies would likely appreciate. 

How many curls overall (on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the kitties titties!): Definitely a 5! I can't think of anything negative to say about it.

The cute little jar in the bottom right side picture is it! It has made it into my staple category. I just reordered 2 more full size jars

Just showcasing the different products this has been combined with. I like it combined particularly with the SM Curl Enhancing Smoothie, methinks. The hold and moisture are unbelievable!

Sitting 'neath the Nuance is the miracle in a jar. DG worked well with this conditioner, too.

SN: The Healing Place (THP) was started recently by Nubian Flunder, one of the knowledgeable ladies on CN. She is a pleasure to do business with; her turnaround time and shipping are fast, and she will graciously answer any questions you have about her products. Just FYI, I wasn't paid to do this review, but I enjoy supporting other curlies in their entrepreneurial endeavors, so I decided to show my support by reviewing one of her products and helping to get her company's name more "out there." I'm sure that she'd appreciate it if you checked out her Etsy page, too!


What new products have you tried lately? Any new favorites? Have you ever tried anything from THP?

02 May 2013

The End and Whatnot


I can't believe it, but finals are almost here. Eep! Time flew this semester. Part of what made it go by so quickly for me was looking forward to Bible study every week (or, as we were recently dubbed, the Exploring Christianity Club). No matter how hard classes & homework were, I just knew that if I could make it to Thursday evening, the worst was over.

It was so great just to be able to fellowship with other believers, & have great dialogue with people of other faiths too. My spirit was refreshed & built up each time we met together. And we were able to develop a relationship with the MSA (Muslim Student Association) during the latter part of this semester, as well. God has truly blessed us in everything that He's allowed us to do - from the opportunities He's given to us to the relationships we've been able to build. It has just been amazing to watch God work this school year.
It all began last semester, a few weeks into the new school year. A group of MC students from a large church in the area decided to start a Bible study at the Germantown campus of the college. Unbeknowst to me at the time, one of the girls in my aerobics class, Libby, was a member of this founding group. I happened to run into her one cool October evening, & as we talked, I found out that she went to the same church as one of my best friends, & she was about to go to a meeting about planning a Bible study on campus. She offered to let me join them, & since I had been looking for a group of believers to meet with, I tagged along.

A little group of us crammed around a table on the bottom level of the High Tech building, discussing what books of the Bible we should read, how to structure the study, activities to plan, the time & duration of the study, people to invite, & nitty gritties like food & the budget. I sat wide eyed & amazed, drinking it all in & thanking God for the "coincidence" of seeing Libby. I took notes furiously, eager to tell my friend Lisa about it. I texted her that evening, ecstatic at the prospects.

Within the very next weeks, we had our first meeting in the cafeteria. Surrounding 3 small tables pushed together, we apprehensively introduced ourselves over warm slices of pizza. Travis, our fearless leader, passed out worksheets he'd designed for the group, & with that, we dug into the Word. I could feel God moving amongst us, & instantly felt a connection to those surrounding me. Week after week, we continued to meet, Bibles in one hand & pizza in the other, full of joy at sharpening one another & seeing the Spirit work. We grew in number, sometimes having to add a 5th table to keep everybody together.

Enveloped in the chaos that is the campus source of foodstuffs, we prayed, talked, & laughed together. We grew closer as the weeks, months flew by. I even began to feel comfortable sharing my heart with my fellow sojourners. Just as we prayed before every session, God opened our hearts & minds to see new things in His word. Passages that we'd read over & over became new again. We all began asking questions that had never before arisen in our minds, & God was faithful to showing us the answers.

I was in awe. I got a thrill every time I thought about Thursdays, & I became more eager to stay in the word during the week. It felt as though Christ was refreshing me again & again, constantly making my spirit anew. Surely, I thought, this is how the early believers felt! Those verses in Acts never seemed more real to me.
Now. Fast forward to today. 2 May - the last meeting of our group until the fall semester begins in August. I was a bit sad when Mike & Travis told me that today was the end...for now. There seemed to be a restlesness in everybody, which might be why we didn't focus as much on Ephesians 4 as we should have. How would we end the semester? I would soon have my answer.

After Matt prayed us out, Travis & Matthias ran to the computer in the room to start a little...karaoke! We laughed & shouted (& danced) our way through the Cupid Shuffle, a lil of the ChaCha Slide, Bopeep (quite possibly my new favorite Kpop song), Dirty Laundry, & others. Matt & Matthias, ever the ones to hide talents, did a little freestyling for us, & Travis sang us his rendition of...a song which I can't remember the title of. It was a memorable way to close out the year, methinks. And it excites me thinking of what God will do next semester, too!
Here is some footage of the hilarity :-)

Annnd video! Mwahaha.

I'm gonna miss these guys *sniffles*


21 April 2013

킴씨머리 (Kimshi Meoli) Product Review: Shea Moisture Hold & Shine Moisture Mist + "Flax-i" Hold

I'm going to try something a bit different today and use the CurlyNikki Community Review format as a basic structure for this review. Here goes!
Description of your hair: (1) medium density (2) fine and medium texture (3) normal/low porosity (4) Daughters OS [check out the LOIS system] + cottony/silky. 

Name of Product in Review: Shea Moisture Hold & Shine Moisture Mist

Product Description [from Walgreens.com]: 
    Our all-natural moisture mist eliminates frizz, while hydrating hair and creating brilliant shine and curl control. For thick, curly hair.
    • Coconut oil: Hydrates and protects hair from heat and chemical damage
    • Silk protein: Reduces breakage, strengthens hair, adds smoothness an silkiness
    • Neem oil: An age-old ayurvedic oil that strengthens hair and provides brilliant shine
    • Provides moisture and body
    • No parabens, phthalates, paraffin, Formaldehyde, propylene glycol, mineral oil, synthetic fragrance, PABA, synthetic color, DEA, animal ingredients, or sulfates

Product Ingredients: (from NaturallyCurly.com)

Deionized Water, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil*, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter)*, Silk Protein, Essential Oil Blend, Melia Azadirachta (Neem) Seed Oil, Algae Extract, Hyssopus Officinalis Extract, Salvia Officinalis (Sage) Leaf and Equisetum Arvense Extract, Lonicera Caprifolium (Honeysuckle) Flower (and) Lonicera Japonica (Japanese Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Tocopherol (Vitamin E). *Denotes Certified Organic Ingredient.

Fragrance: Tropical - not as coconut-ty as the leave ins and stylers, but you can definitely tell what the scent is.

Texture: Liquid

Ease of Application: on a scale of 0-5, how easy was it to apply to hair with 5 being easy (not rough in texture)
It was relatively easy to apply. It comes in a spray bottle,  so spritzing it on a section is pretty effortless. It goes on my hair pretty well; I can usually rake it through without too many issues. My coarser strands don't take to this as easily because of the large amount of silk protein. It's a smoother glide on my finer strands, however. So I'll give it a 4 out of 5.

Your experience: I used this as my liquid leave in and refresher for the past month or so. The entire time I tested it was almost solely with the SM Curl & Style Milk. I thought that that would be too protein-y for my thicker strands of hair, but it actually wasn't too bad. It also blended well with a protein-free leave in I bought a while back. It's supposed to help with hold (hence the name), and while it didn't give me much of that, it did help me a lot in the shine department. My twists have been shine-ty and on point for weeks now, thanks to this. The oils, butters and plant extracts added a healthy shine to my coils and curls. I also used this to refresh my twists before bed; once during the middle of the week, I'd spray my ends and smooth a bit on my roots, seal it in with some EVOO, and cover with my scarf for the next day. It tamed frizzies pretty well, and helped keep my ends looking smooth and sleek. 
Because of all the protein, I really think that my ends might have benefited the most from using this spray. I've noticed less SSKs and less breakage. Definitely an incentive to repurchase!

Would you recommend to a curlfriend: Yes!

How many curls overall: 5 big, fat juicy curls! :-D

Want proof? Here's photos of different twists I did with this wonderful spritz as my L:

In addition, I've started making my very own....*drum roll*....flaxseed gel! I wanted extra hold for my twists, but regular gel wasn't cutting it for me. I remembered that we had flaxseeds in the pantry, so I looked up Naptural85's recipe on the magic YT and followed it almost to a T. I omitted the EOs because 1) I can't really afford them right now, and 2) I don't particularly like them.
I was more than a little skeptical of how well it would hold, but as I used it on my twists week after week, I was floored! A small amount gave my curls amazing definition, actually added moisture, had slip enough to rake through, and put some extra shine on ma hurr. I love it! I made a second batch on Friday (which was a little too runny), and again used it on my twists for the week. Now don't get me wrong, it's not on the same hold level as HE Set Me Up gel, but it doesn't get tangled in my curls, and defines them more quickly. It doesn't help atall in the shrinkage department though, and the hold can vary depending on how long you boil your batch. So it's definitely a light to medium hold gel - maybe best for when you want bigger hair, less hang (when is that?! o_O), or don't mind not having hold as strong as a regular gel.

My batch:


Have you ever tried the SM Hold & Shine Mist? What did you think of it? What's your favorite liquid leave in/refresher, if you use one? Have you ever tried making or purchased flaxseed gel? What did you think  - did it work for you?

P.S. In the few months that I haven't been on here, my hair actually grew! I was fingering through my wet hair a week ago, and I was actually able to gather it into a messy(-ish) bun! I couldn't believe it! There is something to this twisting and putting away of hair. I'd like to see if I could do it all summer and see where I am by the time the fall semester begins.
Look at this! My front sections, which seemed stalled, actually grew. Unbelievable...

Kimmie in Kimchiland...

My birthday was a couple weeks ago, but I was on campus nearly all day long that day. So, on 12 April, I went with two of my friends from Scholars (Megan & Yael) to a Korean barbeque/restaurant for lunch as a late celebration.
While I love many Asian cuisines, I haven't been able to venture much into Korean food, so this was a treat. I thought that I'd be able to use some of what I'd learned in class at the restaurant, spend some quality time with friends, and try some new foods to boot. 

Once inside, we took forever trying to decide what to order! Almost everything on the menu looked delectable. Megan decided on Jap Chae, Yael ordered Bibimbap, & I settled on Duk Mandoo Guk.

Because Megan and Yael didn't order soup, they both received small bowls of a dish similar to miso soup. I tasted a bit, and though it did have bits of tofu, it was much less salty than miso, which I liked. Here's a shot of it. If any of you happen to know the proper word for it, please let me know! It's been driving me nuts.

A few minutes later, Megan's jap chae (잡채)
 arrived! It's vermicelli noodles with chicken and lots of veggies :-D

Then my dduk mandu guk (떡만두국)...
Beef broth with dumplings, strips of beef, rice cakes, eggs, onions, noodles, and a bit of sliced seaweed on top. Heaven in a bowl :-D

And Yael's bibimbap (비빔밥)...
Beef strips with veggies, rice, and a fried egg. With seaweed to garnish :-D She got the kind in the hotpot, which kept everything nice and warm.

These cute little dishes, called banchan (반찬), are side dishes served with every Korean meal and shared by every person at the table. At the far end and going clockwise are sweetened potatoes, then fish cakes, kimchi, bean sprouts, lettuce, and squash. I tried everything except for the fish cakes (I'm very particular about seafood; the flavor is delicate), and my favorites were kimchi, bean sprouts and the potatoes.

A closeup of the potatoes. They were so yummy!

And some closeups of my soup. Here's a rice cake slice.

A bit of egg

A dumpling! This was my favorite part, besides the broth and the egg. The dumpling was filled with...meat.

And egg :-D

Ooh, and the noodles! Cellophane, to be precise, which is one of my favorites. In the background, you can see some of Yael's bibimbap.

We each tasted a bit of each other's food, and we enjoyed everything! After the meal, our waitress brought us these cute little bowls filled with a sweet rice water. It was a pretty good palate cleanser, methinks. (Random factoid: Yael, who is from Madagascar, told me that there's a similar drink in her country. Apparently they let the rice cook until it sticks to the bottom of the pot, then they pour water into it. She said that it tastes similar to this.)

Afterwards, we walked a couple doors down to the Shilla bakery, and I bought a slice of rainbow cake, which I ate at home later. It was good, but it was definitely a different type of sweet than I'm used to. The cakes we eat are heavier and much sweeter. This was very airy, light, and had a sane amount of sugar in it.

All in all, I really enjoyed my first venture into Korean food! I look forward to going again, and even trying some at home :-D


Do you like foreign food? What's one of your favorite types of cuisine? Do you normally eat it out at a restaurant, or do/can you make it at home, too? Have you ever tried Korean food?

22 March 2013

Last Minute 'Dos: Twist Tail

I was getting sick & tired of my wonky, dried out WnG. So last night,  I decided to do a last minute rescue 'do. I quickly applied some of my vinegar/conditioner mix to my hair & rinsed it out thoroughly with warm water.
Next, I sprayed my entire head with my SM Hold & Shine Moisture Mist, focusing on the ends. Then I took a small amount of the SM Curl Enhancing Smoothie, grabbed a chunk of my hair, lightly raked in the Smoothie, & twisted up that section. I repeated this on the remainder of my head & ended up with 6 twists.
I gently pulled back the twists into a ponytail, pinned the front section to the side, & blotted out the excess moisture with a towel. Before hitting the sack, I covered my hair with a satin scarf.
This AM, I awoke to soft (malleable!), moisturised hair. It was so nice to just wet my tresses & get sort of a fresh start style-wise. The flexibility of our hair is unbelievable sometimes! :-D
What are some of your favorite rescue styles to do when you're having a not-so-stellar hair day, curlies?