21 November 2012

Happy Thanksgiving Eve! :-)

My old posts continue! I have to break everything up with my modern stuff though. The most obvious thing is...Thanksgiving is tomorrow! This one is more difficult for me for obvious reasons, but I'm still looking forward to enjoying dinner with the fam and thanking God for the many blessings He has showered upon us. Here are just a few of the things I'm thankful for:

* Most of my family is still together.
* My baby cousin, Delonte! We were blessed with him before God called my Nana home to be with Him.
* Salvation.
* Amazing friends :)
* A great church
* The semester is almost over :D

...there are so many more things, but those are just the beginning.

Y'all know how much I love food, so I have to give you the Turkey day menu. Tomorrow, we'll have:

Fried chicken
Garden salad
Green beans
Kale (or collards) with turkey neck
Mashed potatoes
Mashed turnips
Cranberry sauce
Sweet potatoes
Apple pie
Cherry pie
Red Velvet cake
Lemon pound cake
Vanilla ice cream

My family does Skiaki too with a few other families that we know, so on Saturday, this is what we'll be munching:

Miso soup
Dim sum (dumplings; pretty sure I have either the Cantonese or wrong Romanisation lol)
Chicken fried rice
Pork fried rice
Shrimp fried rice
Lo mein
Another dish whose name I cannot remember
Pound cake
Lemon squares
Mint chocolate chip cookies
Chocolate mousse pie

It's not all Japanese, but it all tastes good! :D

Hair wise, I currently have my two strand twists up in a little puff thing with a curly twist on a Kpop bang in the front (I'll have to find a pic to post). I'm still trying to decide how to wear my hair for Thanksgiving tomorrow. I'm thinking of untwisting my ends and pinning them outwards to make a bun. Or, I could do a twist out. I'm leaning towards a bun, because I hate the feeling of cold air on my loose hair. Hmm...

So, curly girls, what are you thankful for this Thanksgiving? What does your Thanksgiving menu look like? What are you doing with your 'do for Turkey Day?

18 November 2012

Vintage Posts from the CN Forums - Part 5

So, after my failed mini twists attempt, I put in regular, chunky twists, and did a TO for a few days. I wanted to change up my look for orientation today, so I shampooed with TRESemme Climate Control Shampoo, and conditioned with Herbal Essences Honey, I'm Strong Conditioner. I let my hair (which was in 7 twists) dry slightly while I got dressed. For each section, I untwisted it, lightly finger combed it, took about a quarter sized dollop of Fresh Elements Captivatin' Color Mixed Berry & Silk Conditioner and fingered it through for several minutes. I tried to define my curls as much as possible, which was easier in the back than in the front. Then I took 2 pumps of John Freida Frizz Ease Extra Strength Formula Hair Serum and fingered it through the section as well, trying not to disturb the curl definition I'd already achieved. Then I took the front section and pinned it back. My hair looked pretty good for my first time doing a wash and go, methinks. My curls were shiny, and only shrunk 1-2 inches. They still looked shiny after I left orientation (more than 5 hours later). I think I might try pineappling or twisting tonight and see what I get tomorrow morning. Here's hoping!

I finally bought my school supplies today! Binders, NoteTabs, contact paper, spiral bound notebooks - it all smells wonderful! I've spent the past 3 hours prepping my books, and I'm still not done! But I should be in be by 22:15 or earlier. Meh -_-

Nothing much going on hair wise. Oh! But I did get to Amazon and buy a 1 lb jar of bentonite clay (the Aztec Healing Clay), Bragg's Raw Unfiltered ACV (just because the clay is supposed to be mixed with raw ACV...and it was $2.28 for 16 oz), and Nature's Way Organic coconut oil. It's supposed to be here by 12 September. I'll be washing on Friday or Saturday; I'll update then! 

oh! My wash day regimen for yesterday! Me olvide, lo siento! 

I did a quick (5-7 minute) pre poo with VO5 Extra Body Volumizing Conditioner with Collagen. It gave me some swing and helped stretch out my length, so that was good. But, it smelled and felt like a shampoo. It was weird. Next, I shampooed with TRESemme Climate Control Shampoo. This time I diluted about 1 oz of it with 2 oz of water. It pretty much felt the same as using it full strength, but I felt better about spreading it further down my hair shaft. I conditioned with my new favorite rinse out, Herbal Essences Honey, I'm Strong and rinsed it out with cold water to close my cuticles. I stepped out of the shower and had no frizz. I didn't feel like doing much to my hair, so I just pumped out my TRESemme Smooth Salon Silk No Frizz Serum into my hands and lightly spread it over my hair (so as not to disturb the curls), and then pumped more of it directly into my hair. It rained cats and dogs yesterday (and I got soaked), and my hair still looked great! I'm thinking that this would be a good summer routine...when I'm more able to just do whatever. I rinsed my hair, conditioned with more HE, and added more serum to my hair before I went to church this morning. My curls were popping (and still are)! Now I actually have to think of a protective style to wear this week. Ugh.  

Vintage Posts from the CN Forums - Part 4

I've decided that I just can't take it! I can't finish these mini twists! Maybe when my hair is longer, I have more patience....I don't know. But this just isn't the business! I'm going to take out my twists, do something to my hair for the night, and will likely co-wash (my first in a loong time) with Herbal Essences Honey, I'm Strong, clarify with ACV, and then detangle and twist with the Nubian Heritage EVOO & Moringa. Back to my good old 2 strand twists! *sighs with relief*

I just finished trimming a few of the ends in the front that were raggedy from my BC (I used blunt scissors to BC *hangs head in shame*), and they're finally curling the right way!

And, like I posted in the random thoughts thread, I'm thinking of making Nubian Heritage my fall/winter line because of all the oils (and how much mi pelo loves them ), and doing TRESemme, Aussie, and heavy silicones during the spring/summer because of the humidity. Hmm. Still thinking about it. But I might do it.

I'm ready to give my first impressions of my Herbal Essences conditioner! Last night, I took out all the mini twists (sprayed with water, slathered with TRESemme Vitamin E Moisture Rich conditioner, and gently untwisted each one) and deep conditioned on dirty hair with TRESemme Moisture Rich Conditioner. I just got out of the shower, and I cleansed my scalp with Creme of Nature Sunflower & Coconut Detangling & Conditioning Shampoo. I don't think I've ever posted the ingredients for this shampoo, so here they are:
Aqua (Water, Eau), Sodium Laureth Sulfate [more gentle than sodium lauryl sulfate], Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Polyquaternium-7, Glycol Stearate, Polyquaternium-10, Cocamide DEA, Amodimethicone, Polysorbate 20, Isotearyl Ethylimidazoliniumethosulfate, Citric Acid, Tetrasodium EDTA, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Helianthus Annus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Leaf Oil, Ocimum Basilicum (Basil) Extract, Polygala Senega Root Extract, Nasturtium Officinale (Watercress) Extract, Salvia Officinalis (Sage) Leaf Extract, Thymus Vulgaris (Thyme) Extract, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Seed Extract, Parfum (Fragrance), Hexyl Cinnamal, Limonene, Linalool, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone, CI 14700 (Red 4), CI 19140 (Yellow 5), CI 17200 (Red 33), CI 42090 (Blue 1). 

It's chock full of stuff! But I didn't realize that it had parabens in it. Meh. Anywho, this is the least drying shampoo I've used before. But, because of the peppermint, basil, sage, rosemary and thyme, my scalp gets irritated. And now the parabens have surfaced. TRESemme has much less ingredients, no parabens, no dyes, minimal fragrance, and my scalp doesn't tingle after washing and it's much cleaner (I'm finding more white gunk on my scalp after using CON ). So maybe Creme of Nature is out for me now. Anyway, this is a pretty great shampoo! If you like more natural ingredients in your shampoos and don't mind sodium laureth sulfate and amodimethicone, and your skin doesn't easily react to herbal extracts, this would be great. 

After rinsing that out, I undid each twist and slathered a generous amount of Herbal Essences Honey, I'm Strong Strengthening Conditioner into each twist, and then twisted back up. I lathered up the rest of my body, rinsed off the soap, and then used cool/cold water to untwist and lightly finger detangle. Oh. My. Goodness. I squeezed this stuff out, and it was a light yellow/orange shade, which I thought was cool. It was thick, but not as creamy as other HE conditioners - because of the honey, I assume. When I finger detangled in the shower, I was amazed at the slip! And I didn't lose as many fine hairs as I usually do. I'm really liking this conditioner right now! Here are the ingredients, in case you're interested:

Water/Eau, Stearyl Alcohol, Behentrimonium Chloride, Cetyl Alcohol, Bis-Aminopropyl Dimethicone, Honey/Miel, Prunus Armeniaca (Apricot) Fruit Extract, Fragrance/Parfum, Benzyl Alcohol, Disodium EDTA, Sodium Hydroxide, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone, Blue 1, Yellow 5, Red 33

I love, love, love, love this conditioner! Herbal Essences did a GREAT job! I think VO5 has finally been kicked out of conditioner status! Hello, HE! I have coupons for $3 off 2 bottles of Aussie or HE products too, so that will be put to very good use  I'm about to finger detangle with my Nubian Heritage EVOO & Moringa leave in conditioner. I'll report back later! 

I detangled my entire head with the Nubian Heritage leave in conditioner, and it went pretty easily. My "do not pass go" area in the back was still pretty stubborn. But all of my twists look super shiny and moisturised. I've baggied for the past couple nights, so my twists look nice and juicy. That's it for today so far :)

Vintage Posts from the CN Forums - Part 3

Hair Regimen Update
I finally started my mini twists today! My hair looked so shiny and defined after taking out the twists this morning, I considered doing a twist out. But, I need this protective style, so I stuck to my plan.
Whoever said that Naptural85 makes mini twists look easy was right! I watched her mini twists tutorial at least 5 times before I started to make sure I did everything correctly. But I didn't have a wide tooth comb (my sister lost both of them -_-) or flaxseed gel. And my hair wasn't as strechted as hers is in the video, so my twists look kind of weird. I did make even rows, though! But my parts are strange, and the sides of the twists end up uneven, so I trimmed a few ends (first time scissors have touched non-SSKs since my BC!) to make them match up. And even though I'm twisting tight enough on most of them, the twists look nothing like hers. Maybe I'm making them too small or too big? Ugh. It's a good thing I decided to do practice twists this week. I doubt these twists will last more than 3 weeks, but I'll try again and do it better the next time. Ooh! I'll write which products I used for this (including my pre-installation) below:

Pompeian Grapeseed Oil (pre-poo)
TRESemme Climate Control Shampoo (poo)
VO5 Moisture Milks Strawberries & Cream with Soy Milk Protein/Herbal Escapes Anti-Oxidant Rich Pomegrante & Grapeseed (conditioner)
TRESemme Vitamin H & Silk Protein Smooth & Silky/Vitamin E Moisture Rich, Pompeian Grapeseed Oil (DC)
ACV:H2O (2:1 ratio; scalp clarifier)
Spectrum USDA Certified Organic Expeller-Pressed Coconut Oil (leave in)

Fresh Elements Captivatin' Color conditioner (leave in, detangler)
Fantasia IC Polisher Gel (hold)
Fantasia Olive Moisturizing Shine Serum (moisture)

I don't like the Fantasia serum much, but the gel left my hair so dry that I had to do something. But I noticed that the twists without the serum are holding up much better than the ones with it. Hmm. Guess I'll leave the serum out.

Randomness: I started listening to some Kpop on my iTunes account, and it didn't click in my mind that the song was in Korean until the song ended. I thought it was in English! *shakes head* This has happened to me a few other times too, and it's so bizarre. I don't know Korean! I've got a weird brain.

Mi pelo
I went to a birthday party today, so I pulled the back section of my hair into a puff, and pinned the front sections back. I've kind of got a little pompadour thingy going on in the front. It'll hopefully make my hair stretch a bit more; I was so sick of it curling while I tried to twist yesterday! I may or may not work on my twists more tonight; I need to sleep and get up for church tomorrow morning.

I ended up not doing any more mini twists last night, but I did some today after church. The going is VERY slow; I'm just finishing up the section on the left side of my head! But I'm trying to make sure I do them right. As painstakingly as I'm doing these twists though, most of them don't look right. Even if I take 5 minutes to tightly twist, they start to unravel the second I let them go *frustrated sigh* And I keep catching little stray hairs in the twists, end up twisting them in, and then have a painful time trying to pin the twists back because they're attached to 1 or 2 thin hairs at the front of my head. 
Also, I wasn't liking the way the Fresh Elements conditioner was working with the Fantasia gel. It's like my hair was too moisturised and slippery (darned dimethicone!  ) and it messed up the twists. 

Soo, I got the money from my babysitting paycheck (money!! Finally!) and hit Target today after church. I spent more than 20 minutes bouncing between the Salon Hair Care aisle (cried over the prices there), the "normal" hair care stuff (lamented over the sodium hydroxide and drying alcohols), and the Ethnic Hair Care aisle (boohooed over the prices and tiny sizes of bottles, and looked skeptically at the "all natural" ingredients). I looked at Shea Moisture, Jane Carter, Cantu, Motions, Creme of Nature, Nubian Heritage (side note: Raven, you were totally right about the Nubian Heritage heat line! I didn't expect to see such high amounts of keratin in the shampoo and conditioner [usually when products claim to have protein, it's 10th on the list and won't do much]! Not to mention the label color was gorgeous  I'll have to try that sometime!), Mixed Chicks, Curls, Curly Qs, Hair Rules, Fekkai, Rusk....on and on and on. I wanted to cry! All I was looking for was a leave in that had shea butter in it (I would use Shea Moisture's Curl Enhancing Smoothie, but it has ammonium salts in it. As little as is in there and as much as that drying effect is likely "cancelled out" by the super moisturising ingredients, I'm not a huge fan of salts in my leave ins) but that wasn't out of my price range. Every "ethnic" product claimed to be natural, but when I checked the ingredients label, all I saw was sulfates, silicones, alcohols (fatty or otherwise), and everything I could find in a bottle of Aussie Moist -_- But, thanks be to God, I finally found something!! It's from the Nubian Heritage line, and I really like it so far! It is *trumpets blare*

EVOO & Moringa Repair & Extend Detangling Leave-In Conditioner with Quinoa, Fennel & Henna

I didn't expect too good of a detangling job but this product has surprised me. I can easily finger detangle a handful of damp hair with a nickel sized amount of this conditioner. There's lots of EVOO, shea butter, coconut oil, mango butter and avocado oil in this! I love it. It's the first "mostly natural" product that has ingredients that I like and works well for my hair. It was only an 8 oz bottle for $11.99 (), but I think it'll last me for a while because much isn't needed for detangling. And, I tried this on my hair while putting in more twists, and it worked like a dream! It's cooperating with the gel much better than Fresh Elements. I'm very happy with this product so far 

I bought another conditioner, too! It's a relatively new line from Herbal Essences. It's called: Honey, I'm Strong and it's supposed to be strengthening. I know that honey is a humectant, but I don't understand how it strengthens. Moisture = Strength? Not in the curly world, at least. I bought it just to try it out (it was on sale! 23.7 oz for only $4.99!), and I LOVE the smell. That's no small feat, seeing as how I detest the smell of most of Herbal Essences' conditioners. It does have sodium hydroxide in it, which, again, I don't like having in my leave ins. So I'll use it as a rinse out. I'm excited to see how it works!

Anywho, I'm still very frustrated with this whole mini twists situation. I'm not giving up yet; I want to try it at least 1 more time before throwing in the towel and calling it quits (I really don't want to try it again, but I'm determined to finish at least this set of twists). But, if it doesn't work out, I can always go back to regular 2 strand twists. Those are plumper (you can include more hair), easier, quicker to do, and my hair suffers no breakage from putting those in. I'll probably twist for 2-3+ hours tomorrow, and update on how that goes.

Any experienced mini twisters here? What do you do to make twisting easier? How do you know that you're twisting the right amount of hair?

Vintage Posts from the CN Forums - Part 2

Hair Regimen Update
I had to go to counseling today, and my mom didn't tell me what time I had to be there until 15 minutes beforehand, so I had to wrap a scarf around my head to hide the DC. I still haven't rinsed. I've had it in since last night, and usually this isn't a problem when I use Aussie as my moisture DT. I can leave Aussie in even longer, and I'm good. But today, I got this insane itch in several spots on my head. I know it's not my grapeseed oil, because I put that on my scalp all the time. So I think it's the TRESemme. The areas where the conditioner got the gloopiest and got to my scalp are the ones that are itching (and burning slightly) now. I think this means that I have to switch conditioners...AGAIN!! Ugh. I try not to get conditioner on my scalp, but it happens. Aussie doesn't make my scalp itch like this, but I think that's because it has little fragrance, and the AVJ is soothing. TRESemme has a few more additives for fragrance (hexyl cinnamal, linalool, amyl cinnamal, etc.), so maybe that's what irritated my skin. I'm going to wait it out and try another DC with it though. I don't want to have to just waste 3 more full bottles of perfectly good conditioner.

Hair Regimen Update:
I forgot how much I love doing ACV rinses! I made it stronger, using a 2:1 ratio instead of the recommended 3:1. I poured the rinse into two 3 oz bottles with caps. After rinsing out a good portion of my DC, I squirted the ACV rinse all through my scalp and scrubbed my roots and scalp well. I also undid a few twists, poured the rinse directly on to the hair, and retwisted (those were the shiniest twists, btw). I undid every twist, rinsed it thoroughly, lightly removed a few shed hairs, and retwisted again. I made sure that this rinse was with cool water. When I got out of the shower, there was no product in my hair and - WOW! I was amazed! The frizz that I usually have after washing was nowhere to be seen, and I had shine galore from the ACV (and rinsing with cool water). And my scalp still feels clean! I usually have some gunk and build up on my scalp after a DC, but the ACV got rid of most of it, as well as the itching.

After getting dressed for bed, I went through each twist, slathered it in coconut oil, finger detangled, and retwisted. Again, major shine! Today, I'm going to the county fair with my friends, so I'm going to flat twist my hair later this morning.

All in all, I'm pleased with how my DC went. I'm warming up to TRESemme not being a leave in now, and it actually detangles better than Aussie. I also need to stock up again on coconut oil - I'm almost out!

So I ended up not flat twisting my hair today. I woke up late, and since I'd baggied my hair last night, it was still damp/wet when I woke up this morning. So I just left my twists in, though I took several of the chunkier ones and divided them in half. My hair still looks shiny, and considering that I have nothing except for coconut oil in it, the frizz is minimal. I was easily able to lightly finger detangle my twists, and the curl definition was impressive, too. All in all, a great hair day!  I'm thinking of just leaving coconut oil in my hair for my next TO...hmmm.

Vintage Posts from the CN Forums - Part 1

Ciao bellas! As promised, here are some of the posts from my mini blog on the CN forums:

I haven't washed my hair in nearly 2 weeks (gross, I know). My scalp was itching like crazy, there were brown and white flakes popping up in my twists at random times, and my situation was D.R.Y. So, I made today wash day! 

I put my hair into 11 twists before I went to bed last night, so pre-pooing was easy this morning. I undid each twist, poured some oil onto it, worked it through with my fingers (and lightly finger detangled), and twisted up again. I let it sit while I was here on CN for almost 2 hours. Then I hit the shower. I let the water run over my hair for a minute or two, and then shampooed my scalp with TRESemme Climate Control shampoo (OAN: I wish I could use more shampoo than just a few quarter sized dollops!! I made the mistake of buying the 32 oz size of TRESemme shampoo, and it will likely last me until next year, easily. *sighs*) and rinsed well. I then undid each twist, applied generous amounts of VO5 conditioner (Strawberries & Cream and Pomegrante & Grapeseed extract) and retwisted. I let the conditioner stay in while I soaped up and cleaned the rest of my body, and then I rinsed it out. It wasn't a super thorough rinsing, so I didn't undo each twist and let the water run through, etc. But most of the conditioner is out.

I'm about to do my DC of Aussie Sydney Smooth and grapeseed oil, which I will cover with a plastic bag and leave in until tomorrow. I plan to rinse out most of it, and then follow up with a 2:1 ACV rinse to help clarify any other parts of my scalp that I might've missed with the shampoo. Afterwards, I will coat each section in coconut oil, flat twist, and let my hair stretch out and dry to be ready for mini twist installation (I want to do a practice set before putting in the real ones; just to make sure I know what I'm doing).

Update: My DC has changed for the year! I have to use gel on my mini twists to help them stay together, but I was having problems with white stuff coming up everywhere with my Fantasia IC gel and TRESemme. Somebody posted in another thread to put a little gel and conditioner in the palm of your hand to see if they'll mix well. So I tested all of my conditioners, and the ones that pass are:

Aussie Sydney Smooth
Aussie Moist
Fresh Elements Captivatin' Color
TRESemme Vitamin B12 & Gelatin Anti-Breakage

The rest of the TRESemme conditioners were a total no-go with the gel. They balled up, made the gel turn into gunk, etc. I was glad to find that out in my hand before turning my hair into a gunky white mess! So TRESemme Moisture Rich,Flawless CurlsClimate Control and Smoth & Silky will be my weekly DCs instead of Aussie. I tested my Pantene Anti-Breakage too, and that was one was...eh. So that'll also be on my DC list. The only problem is that most of the conditioners that mixed well with the Fantasia gel, I only have half empty containers of! TRESemme is the only full one. So I'll have to buy more Aussie and Fresh Elements when I run out.

I slathered lots of TRESemme Smooth & Silky on a few twists with some grapeseed oil to see how it'd turn out. It feels weird not using TRESemme as a leave in, but it makes a pretty darn good DC. I can easily finger detangle with it in my hair, which is a plus!

I finally finished off my bottle of TRESemme Smooth & Silky! I was getting so tired of using it. Now, I'm back to an old favorite for DCs: TRESemme Vitamin E Moisture Rich! I haven't used this since I was transitioning, so it's like visiting an old friend. It was gloriously moisturising on my last few twists!

Regimen update: I'm considering alternating between protein and moisture DTs every week while my mini twists are in (and even when they're not). VO5 conditioners are loaded with hydrolysed collagen, hydrolysed keratin, silk proteins, silk amino acids, gelatin, hydrolysed silk proteins - pretty much anything for strengthening or protein treatments. I like VO5 and the conditioners are dirt cheap, so why not use what I have? Those, combined with coconut oil, should be a "beasty" protein DT that my many fine strands will appreciate. Today was obviously a moisture DC, so my next wash session will be protein galore!

There's been another hair success in my household: my sister! She's a stubborn, hair lazy natural with super thick, fine-stranded raven colored waves that cascade down her shoulders. Her weekly routine is very simple: shampoo with TRESemme Moisture Rich shampoo, condition with Suave Naturals, detangle (and leave in) with Pantene NatureFusion Moisture Balance or Aussie Moist conditioner and John Freida Frizz-Ease Extra Strength Formula serum. She puts her hair into 10-12 braids, or simply buns it, and she's done for the week. Usually, by the next day, her hair looks dry and is frizzy. This week though, I convinced her to spritz her hair with water, add 2-3 quarter sized dollops of conditioner to her entire head, and then seal with Fantasia IC Olive Moisturising Shine Serum. The results were amazing! Her hair looks so much shinier, and is holding moisture better. Her frizzies are nearly gone, too. Looks like my sister will be taking my container of Fantasia...

FINALLY - An Update!

Ay! I have been so terrible about posting on here. I started doing a blog on CurlyNikki, but I think that I'll move my blog back here again. I'd like to have something separate from my other online stuff. And I feel like I can be a bit more in my element here. On CN, I felt like I was writing just to get other people to read it (not many did because I guess I just don't have that magic blogger touch *shrugs*). Here, I can blog to just blog. So here will I stay! :-)

Well, SO much has happened since I last wrote! I'm in my first full-time semester of college, my hair has grown, I had my 13 month nappyversary (more about that later), I've gained weight (*sobs*), I'm starting a YT channel and I've gone silicone free until the spring or summer! So let's start from the beginning:

The last I wrote, I was trying to make a decision on which college to attend. UMBC gave me a mid-tier scholarship ($10,000 per year) for their humanities program, plus I won another $5,000 per year from my dad's job. But, that still left a great deal to pay, and my parents would've had to take out loans. I have a 100% no-loan policy, so I chose to stay home for 2 more years and be in the honors program in my CC (I've been taking classes there since the 11th grade). 15 credits per semester are paid for, so I just pay for books and whatnot. I wasn't sure how I'd like it, but I love it! The classes are very demanding, but it's enjoyable. I was afraid of not knowing anybody, but I have 24 friends that I grow closer to every time I see them. We hang out outside of classes, have parties, picnics, etc.  I think I actually might have a social life now lmbo. Oooh! I'm a bit of a nerd, so I want to tell you which classes I'm in this semester:

World Literature II Honors
World History II Honors
World Music Honors
Introduction to Philosophy Honors
Intermediate Spanish II Honors
General Psychology
Dance Aerobics
First Year Seminar

...a total of 15 credits. The four classes at the top are actually an interdisciplinary set of courses, so those are actually just 6 credits for the semester...I'll explain later lol. I'm already signed up for next semester, and then I'll be taking:

World Literature II Honors
World History II Honors
World Music Honors
Introduction to Philosophy Honors
Introduction to Sociocultural Anthropology Honors
Principles of Biology I
Elementary Korean I

...16 credits next semester. I'm pumped! I especially can't wait to start Korean. I'm a fan of Kpop, and I just got into Korean dramas (I'm currently going through The Iron Empress on Hulu). Plus, I was thinking of teaching ESL/ESOL there someday, so I thought it was worth a try. I'm so nervous! I've never had to take a 101 language class before. But I've ordered some Korean audio things from the library (Pimsleur materials), and I found a YT channel that has videos to help with pronunciation, and a website to help with the written segment. Random fact: Korean is considered an Altaic language, and not Asiatic, like Mandarin (Chinese). I always wondered why Korean didn't have that same metallic sound as Chinese lol.

Yes, it has grown! I'm now a bit past collar bone length (CBL) stretched. I'm so happy! Keeping my hair in twists a lot has helped with length retention, methinks. I've had to trim a few ends because they looked straight, but it ended up being nothing.

13 Month Nappyversary
This one is going to be hard to explain. Bear with me. Earlier this year, in May to be exact, my grandmother (Nana) was hospitalised at Holy Cross. We found out what she had known for months but not mentioned: she had ovarian cancer. She was in there for a month, her life in the balance. After 4 long weeks, she was allowed to go to the Rehabilitation Center, but she fell into poor health yet again (this time at the hands of the doctors), and was readmitted to the hospital. She was never able to come back home. It was so difficult for me during that time. School was finishing up, I was dealing with graduation, and because of classes, I couldn't visit her very often. She passed away on 10 June 2012. I was devastated. It was one of the most difficult summers of my life. But this year, on my nappyversary date (3 September), I realised something - my Nana's birthday is 3 October. I BCed exactly 1 month before her birthday! So, in remembrance of her, I celebrate every 13 months that I've been natural instead of every 12.

Needless to say, my ambitions for losing weight were lost. I started out well, but due to the circumstances over the summer, I just got further and further away from healthy eating. I'm now at my heaviest - 230 pounds :-( But I won't give up! I'm going to Asheville in the summer, and I will NOT be buying a plus sized swim suit, nor will I be embarrassed to show my legs! I'm reading Dr. Fuhrman's book called Eat to Live, and it looks doable. So I'll be trying that starting in January methinks.

Yes, you read it correctly, chicas! I'm going to be starting my very own YT channel! I want it to be good quality, though, so I need to purchase a camcorder, learn how to use an editing program, etc. And I want it to either be in Spanish or English with Spanish subtitles. It won't be ready until the summer, probably, though. I want to focus entirely on school and exercise next semester.

Silicone Free?! O_O
Yuppers...I've crossed over to the other side! Lmbo. After my silicone serum obsession of the summer, I was eager to see how my cones would do during the autumn. And somehow...they sucked. Like badly. Like, my hair looked like the Sahara desert bad. I wanted to cry. Soo, thanks to some encouragement from the wonderful ladies on CurlyNikki, I've been exploring some silicone free options. And, to my surprise, my hair is loving it! I'm floored. I didn't know that no 'cones could be so wonderful! So, now my plan is to use 'cone-free products in the autumn and winter and early spring (September-April), and then use regular silicone products in the spring and summer (May-August). Here's my current regimen:

  • Prepoo/DC overnight with VO5 Silky Experiences Shea Cashmere Conditioner cocktailed with honey, EVOO, EVCO, and GSO (I'm going to start using the honey and oils with 2 overripe pureed avocados instead, because I want to find another conditioner for DCs that doesn't have isopropyl alcohol in it and is a bit thicker).
  • Cleanse scalp with Paula's Choice All Over Hair & Body Shampoo.
  • Condition hair and scalp with Spa Haus Salon Conditioner (I actually found this at the dollar store lol. I really like it; a review will be coming soon! :-) ).
  • Detangle with TRESemme Naturals Nourishing Moisture Conditioner.
  • Twist hair with Shea Moisture Curl & Style Milk or Curly Q's Red Velvet Moisturising Curl Cream; seal with my EVOO/GSO mix.
I've been doing this for about 2 weeks now, and my hair looks great! I'll be keeping this up until May hits! :-D

That's about all for this update, bellas! I'll be posting almost everything that I posted on my CN blog on here over the next few days.