Friday, October 12, 2012

Curly Culinary Corner: Chicken Tacos or How to Save a Stranded Child

I know what you're thinking...two posts in one week? What kind of madness is this? The kind where I'm trying to procrastinate from the huge stack of essays I need to grade, the articles I need to read, the lessons I need to plan, and the 20 page paper I need to read for and research.

But it's also the kind where I know how much you all love reading my blog and you love the little quirky things that happen to me.

So last week when I went grocery shopping, I decided that I was going to make two meals from my recipe board on Pinterest. The chili I made on Monday was the first meal (my hand is fine by the way. The cut is already closed up), and I decided to make some chicken tacos from a recipe I found on this blog.

Still can't find my camera charger. Sorry for the pixelated picture.
But I also wanted to make these tacos a little extra special, so I decided I was going to make homemade corn tortillas to put the taco meat on. So, after my morning class, I headed to Wal-Mart to pick up the necessary ingredients (which was so much cheaper than buying regular tortillas I might add!).

As I was leaving the store, I noticed this little girl who was holding on to one of the blue pillars outside the door, and she was sobbing. And people were just walking right past her. To be fair, this elderly lady noticed, and she was about to stop and ask the girl if she was alright, but I got there first.

I bent down so that I was at the little girls level, and I asked her, "What's the matter honey?" To which she tearfully replied, "I can't find my mommy!" My heart broke a little when she said that and I almost started crying with her. I said, "You can't find your mommy?" and she said in a little voice, "Yeah. So I told her, "Well, I can help you find your mommy." She said OK and took my hand and we walked back into the store.

I asked what her name was and what her mommy's name was while we walked over to the customer service counter. I talked to the assistant manager and he called over the P.A. system for the mother. While I was waiting with this little girl and to get her calmed down, I asked her how old she was and she showed me how many on her hand (four). Then I asked her what her favorite thing to do is:


"Somersaults? That's fun! Can you do a cartwheel?"

She nodded her head, even though I'm not sure she knows what a cartwheel is.

And then her mom came walking up with a full cart and another child in the little seat. "Megan! Where were you? We were trying on boots."

You were still in the store and you weren't aware that your child had wandered outside? Lady, maybe you should consider one of those child leashes.
Modern Family anyone? "And now she's chasing squirrels."
 And better yet, the mom didn't even thank me. You're welcome for finding your child and keeping her protected from potential kidnappers or getting hit by a car.

But I did feel better when the little girl ran up and gave her mom a huge hug. At least the child was thankful.

So, let's just say little Megan definitely made my day extra special.

And my tacos were delicious. It was those corn tortillas (and the stranded little girl) that made them so tasty.

Just in case you want to know how to make your own corn tortillas, here is the recipe:

Corn Tortillas

corn flour (can usually find down the Hispanic Food section)
Season-All salt

Put a few scoopfuls of corn flour into a bowl. Sprinkle in some of the seasoning salt for taste. Add a little water at a time. You want the dough to be slightly wet, but not runny. Take two pieces of wax paper (or plastic bags cut into circles, like I used) and put a handful of the dough between them. Then take a circle cake pan and press onto the dough, forming a circle. Fry it up in a frying pan with just a little oil.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Curly Culinary Corner: Turkey Chili or How sharp objects are not my friends

For those of you who know me well, you know how klutzy I am when it comes to sharp objects. Whether it's a knife, a needle, a cheese grater or even a car door, it has somehow managed to cut me.

Such was the case four years ago when I was making dinner and tried to open a can with a knife as I had no can opener--Freshman logic is not the best logic.

The damage done four years ago.

And such was the case last night when I tried to make my dinner. I found this really tasty recipe on Pinterest for Turkey Chili and I was so excited to make it. It was probably this excitement that caused me to make a hasty move and stab my hand again. Anyway, the ground turkey I had bought was the kind that is packaged in a plastic tube and has clips on the end. I have always been under the impression that these clips are metal, so I started to cut the plastic off with a little paring knife the knife slipped off of the frozen turkey, and well you get the picture. What is funny about this story is that it was the exact same hand that I had stabbed years ago, and my new scar will be perpendicular to my old one (oh, now he has a friend!). Well, the moral of this story:

Yep, I've been doing it wrong for years! And I'm sure my hands will appreciate my new found knowledge.

Photo from (my camera's battery was dead)
Long story short, I finished making the chili and it was soooo good. My roommate told me it was better than Wendy's chili, so I'll take that as a complement. You can find the recipe here.And on the plus side, it's super healthy!

But don't be a dorky klutz like me and stab your hand open in the process of making this deliciousness :)

Monday, September 3, 2012

The Curly Chain

I'm a fan of How I Met Your Mother. If you haven't ever watched it, shame on you. Anyway, one of the characters on this show, Barney Stinson, comes up with all of these funky, yet always somehow slightly true, ways of judging people/solutions to work and relationship problems/dating rules. For instance, he has a scale called the "Crazy/Hot" scale where a girl can only be so crazy if she is only so hot (observe here).

As I was writing my post the other day about how curly haired people are portrayed in the media, it got me to thinking. Is there a way that these characters could be ordered to create my own Barney Stinson inspired scale of sorts. Yes.

So here it is, the Curly Chain! On one end of the scale, you have the beautiful, curly haired people and as you move down the chain, you slowly get characters that are more frizzy or more crazy/geeky/nerdy or sometimes all of the above. Now, even though the media tends to exaggerate things, I think that just like Barney's creations, there can be some slight truth to the Curly Chain. Forgive the length of this post, but I promise it will be a fun ride!

The Curly-Beauties:

1. Rose Dawson/Marianne Dashwood

At the top, we have these two Kate Winslet characters circa 1990's. Now, both of these girls have certain crazy qualities (Who wants to jump off a ship when it's completely safe, and then jump back on it when it's sinking? And who will get deathly ill just because of heartbreak?) But, these qualities are circumstantial and based on the periods they lived in. It's quite understandable why Rose, feeling the weight of her family's downfall on her shoulders, might try to jump off the Titanic. And knowing the character of Marianne Dashwood and her complete belief in true love, it makes sense why she would stand on a hill during a rainstorm after her heart was ripped apart (stupid Willoughby!). But we also have to take into account their beautiful curls. Even in the midst of almost jumping off the ship, Rose's hair is perfectly curled and not at all frizzy. And even though she is losing the love of her life, Marianne's hair is always tightly curled. That's why they are at the top of the chain.

2. Christine Daae

Again, look at those perfect curls. Not fair! Christine from Phantom of the Opera is another example of a slightly crazy curly girl, but her crazy is just a little more than those previous. Who doesn't realize that some sociopath is singing to you and kidnapping you? I don't care how sexy his voice may be, it isn't worth it girlfriend! A stalker is a stalker. But, you also have to give her credit for showing sympathy and kindness to the Phantom, despite his appearance. That, along with her beautiful curls keep her close to the top.

3. Andie Anderson/Benjamin Berry

I'm cheating a bit with this one, having two together, but I can explain why. Throughout this movie, Andie is driving Ben nuts, but he in turn is playing her. What I think is interesting--and I guess you have to be curly-haired obsessed to notice this--is whenever Andie and Ben are the closest they have ever been, they both are sporting curly hair. Usually, Andie/Kate Hudson has straight hair throughout the movie, but in these instances, she's got her natural curls going. Coincidence? Maybe. But despite their cute curly hair-dos, their actions through the rest of the movie do make themselves and each other crazy.

4. Patrick Verona--10 Things I Hate About You

Oh, that smile! :D Now, even though Patrick/Heath is such a hunk here, what moves him lower down the chain is his outcast status. He is surrounded by a cloud of rumors and has next to zero friends. But that doesn't stop him from charming the heart of the teenage shrew Kat (and of course every woman watching the film). Remember, it isn't just the crazy neuroses that move someone down the scale. Otherwise, he would be #1, no argument.

5. River Song--Doctor Who

Yep, I'm a Who fan. Although I prefer the 10th Doctor's adventures, this woman kicks some intergalactic butt with the 11th Doctor, and has perfect curly hair while doing so. What makes her further down the chain is the fact that she's a convict. And that she's bossy and trigger happy. And because of a couple of things that she did at the end of last season which I'm not going to say (Spoilers!). If her curls weren't so perfect, she would be at the other end of the scale.

6. Janie--Girls Just Want To Have Fun

Who doesn't love a good 80's dance flick? I always love asking people about this movie and seeing who actually knows what I'm talking about. Anyway, in this movie, Janie/Sarah Jessica usually has straightened/fried hair. It's bad. It does not look healthy and it does not suit her well. What makes me happy is at the end of the movie, when she's declaring her independence, dancing her heart out with her honey, she suddenly has a new do, curls. Yes! Score for all those curly haired girls with big dance dreams. What moves her down the chain? Her geekiness about dance/gymnastics and her Catholic school uniform.

The In-Betweens:

 7. Pam Beesly--The Office

This girl has also had some hairstyle changes through the show, but who can forget her humble, frizzy-haired beginnings? It just makes her character even that more likeable. You may think that I'm crazy for putting her this low on the list, but you have to remember that Pam is a big dork. Even Jim admits it. But, she's also adorable while being dorky, and that's why she's higher up than some of those below her. And the fact that she learns how to tame those curls, once she gets a confidence boost and a new man.

8.Grace Adler--Will and Grace

Like Pam above her, Grace starts off more curly haired than she does by the end of the series. But look at those red curls! Aren't they fabulous. Now, Grace is also a big dork and can be pretty crazy at times. Especially when she tries to sing. But she's also a successful business owner and has a quirky sense of humor.

9. Elaine Benis--Seinfeld

Oh, Elaine. Her unforgettable spunk. Her zany facial expressions. But she's also a bit neurotic at times. But she's got some great curls as well. And who could forget this memorable television moment.

Yadda, yadda, yadda, these dance moves are basically what move her lower down the chain.

10. Monica Gellar--Friends

One would never know that Monica has curly hair until this trip to the Bahamas. Side story, my family secretly wants me to go to the Caribbean so that this same thing will happen. Could you imagine? Back to Monica, this woman certainly has her own quirks and idiosyncracies. The OCD cleaning, the man struggles (until Chandler that is), her fat past. They just keep piling and piling up. But because of this one-time peek of her curls, this is what keeps her out of the crazy/nerdy/geeky part of the chain.

The Quirky Curlies:

11. Regina "Skeeter" Phelan 

So, book Skeeter and movie Skeeter are slightly different. When you read "The Help" you get the sense that Skeeter's curly hair is completely uncontrollable. That's why I put her lower on the list here. But when you see this picture, you don't get that sense at all. Her hair still looks great. What also puts her lower is her social outcast status that happens as she continues on with her writing. And the fact that she is so focused on that writing that it drives the majority of her decisions. That's dedication, but it's also nerdy. I can say this because I am the same way.

12. Mia Thermopolis--The Princess Diaries

Again, the differences between book and movie help in the judging here. Book Mia has triangle hair and movie Mia has frizzy curls. Put them together and you get a typical, bad-haircut, curly haired girl. Mia is also crazy. She's a hypochondriac, she's can't speak in public without barfing, she's nerdy, and she has a fat cat. What puts her higher in the quirky bunch is the fact that she's a princess. Because that's just awesome.

13. Ms. Frizzle--The Magic School Bus

Seat belts, everyone! The only cartoon character to make the list, and of course it's the eccentric teacher that I would love to emulate. She has her curly hair in a bun most of the time, but she can't hide the fact that she's a curly girl. It's even in her name, FRIZZle. Despite her crazy catchphrases, wild printed dresses and matching earrings, pet lizard and crazy adventures, it's her choice of wheels that keeps her higher in this section. A school bus that can fly into space, shrink to the size of a bug and enter the human body is pretty freakin' cool. 

14. Ronald Miller--Can't Buy Me Love

Before his McDreamy days, Patrick Dempsey was playing this awkward, curly haired geek who pays a pretty girl to make him popular. And the first thing she does is slick some mousse through his hair. And it works. But then he turns into a jerk. Still, he can't completely hide his geekiness, and by the end of the movie he's back to riding his lawn mower, but at least with Cindy Mancini riding with him. If it were anyone but Patrick Dempsey playing Ronnie, he would be the very bottom of this list. But I do have a soft spot for McDreamy.

15. Chunk--The Goonies

This poor kid. Not only does he have curly hair and buck teeth, but he's chubby and his friends take advantage of that. Many times actually. But I can't help but love him. Beneath his clumsiness, cowardice and chub, he's a sweetie. He's still pretty low on the list, because he just has too much going against him.

16. Hermione Granger--Harry Potter

I seem to be making a lot of book/movie comparisons, but this one takes the cake. The first words written about Hermione Granger in The Sorcerer's Stone is her frizzy brown hair. In fact, it's her main characteristic besides her buck teeth, which he ends up getting magically shrunk (why isn't this world real?). Growing up, I identified with Hermione. I was frizzy haired and had buck teeth. I was a book nerd and a teacher's pet. I was bossy and stubborn (still am). I was fixated on school and only had a few close friends (still mostly true). Although they got her other geeky/crazy qualities right, I feel like the movie just didn't do Hermione's hair justice. At least until the sixth movie and we got this lovely moment.

Finally, we saw Hermione's frizzy curls! It was truly a happy day in my life because I got to see the Hermione I had so identified with actually come across perfectly. Even though she is essential to helping Harry defeat He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, she is still the same geek every step of the way. And that's why I love her.

So there you have it folks. The Curly Chain is complete. I think Barney Stinson would be proud. What do you think? Do you think it's accurate or do you think I'm completely off? Even if you don't have curly hair, where would you place yourself on the chain? 

Friday, August 31, 2012

Compliments and Cory Matthews

Some of you know that I've been working retail on and off since last summer (and I'm planning a post on it for next week). I see a lot of people come through our store who have curly hair and I always instantly have a connection with them--it just happens. But I never get asked about my hair unless I say something first, until today.

I had an older lady come in today to try on a bunch of outfits for a wedding later this month. I kept checking on her and bringing her new things and different sizes, and I could already tell that she was chatty. So, as I was ringing her up, she asked me if my hair was naturally curly and I said yes. She told me that she loved my curls and that she wished she could make her hair curl "forward" (apparently my curls go forward? I don't know, that's just what she said) like mine. I told her that it has taken me years to tame my hair--as you can see here--and that even today I was having struggles getting it to look right. But no matter how much I complained about my hair, she kept telling me how cute it looked and how she wished she had natural curls.

Isn't that always the case. People with straight hair want curls, and people with curls want straight hair.

Which brings me to the next part of my post. I'm a huge fan of the 90's t.v. show "Boy Meets World" and I recently found the seasons on DVD at Barnes and Noble. I love the relate-able story lines and the corny jokes. And Cory Matthews is my new curly haired friend.

There's this episode where Cory is feeling insecure about his curly hair and so he tries to chemically straighten his hair. And it turns out even worse. In some of the other episodes, Cory continues to have hair issues and gets teased, even being compared to a Brillo pad. I think it's fantastic that there is a realistic portrayal of a curly haired kid out there. Usually, the person is completely drop-dead gorgeous or a complete frizzy haired nerd, like Mia in "The Princess Diaries." There haven't really been curly haired characters that look completely normal, but still feels insecure and sometimes get teased.

Just another reason why "Boy Meets World" is awesome!

Remember, if you have any ideas for the blog, let me know! :)

Saturday, August 25, 2012

In a slump

Okay readers, I need your help. I'm in a blogging slump right now and need your input. I've successfully maneuvered my way through the Curly Girl Method, and now I don't really know what to post about. Part of my problem is I have been busy busy busy with my summer job, but soon I'll be back at school and I'll be looking for a way to procrastinate (ha ha...but no, really).

Here's where you come in. Leave me a comment telling me something you want to see on the blog or if you have any other fantastic ideas. And it doesn't necessarily have to be about hair care. I'll keep brainstorming ideas on my end, but if I knew a little bit more about what you all are looking for, that would help me narrow and hone in on something.

Oh, and one last thing (if you want). Help a sister out and tell your friends about the blog. I would love to have new readers join in--not that you aren't all fabulous!

I hope I'll have some new, exciting posts soon!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

A Curly Journey

I thought it would be fun to do a post about my curly haired childhood and show all of you readers that when it comes to having natural curly hair, I've been through it all. I wish that I had some better photos where you can really see my struggle of coming to terms with my hair, but alas, I don't have them digitized yet--in particular my seventh grade school picture would be fantastic; seriously isn't it enough asking any child to go through junior high without the pains of having curly hair?

Anyway, these pictures should give you some sort of proof that I know what I'm talking about.

Let's start at the beginning shall we. This is a terrible copy, but this is me as a 1-year-old. Can you barely see those tight curls? Yep, this is why I have short hair people. It curls better when it's short, or when I have barely any hair in the first place. Sadly, my curls would really never be this curly again.

Now, I don't have any pictures of my elementary school years on my computer, but let me paint you a picture with words. The year is 1999. I'm in the fourth grade, and because I'm just a lowly nine-year-old, I apparently have no say in how my hair is cut or styled. One day, one of my older sisters--I won't name names, but you know who you are :) --suggested a certain style to my mother and the hair stylist, and that was the style I got. Let's fast forward to the next day on the Hillview Elementary playground, where a group of boys from my grade noticed my hair and came up with a nickname for me--Afro Queen. They followed me around at recess and sang disco songs at me. Now, my hair wasn't exactly an afro, but it had slight tendencies that way, and nevertheless, I still remember shedding a few tears that day. OK, OK, I bawled like a baby, but wasn't it enough that I already had a huge overbite, thick glasses AND curly hair.

Next, if I had it, I would show you my seventh grade picture. But again, I feel words may better describe what happened. I was waiting in line to have my picture snapped. I was wearing my favorite purple shirt, and had a sparkly head band in my hair; I was feeling pretty good about my potential picture, despite having enough metal in my mouth to build a railroad. Then a volunteer/room mom came up to me with a comb and some hair spray and said "Oh, here let me help fix your hair a little bit." Now, I had checked the mirror before this, and my hair had looked fine. A little crazy, but that's the point I was at with my curls. This woman, bless her heart, had no idea what she was getting into. The result was a bunch of flyways and a strand of hair sticking almost straight up from my head. If this wasn't bad enough, I wasn't quite ready for the photographer when he said smile (it takes me a while to get a good smile going, even to this day), so I ended up with frizzy hair and a goofy smile.

 Although I don't have the masterpiece of my seventh grade photo, I do have this beauty from eighth grade. The same sister who suggest the "afro" haircut was my hair stylist and make-up artist for this doosy (thanks again). I remember one of my friends said to me, "You kinda look like a hooker today." In terms of curly-ness, my hair wasn't too bad here, it was just really crunchy that day from all the products swimming around in there, and it was super poofy. And of course we have the signature bangs I rocked for many years. But can you see the pain in my eyes? Yes, that is coming from having crunchy hair and having to force a smile to come out from the elastics forbidding my mouth to open wider than a centimeter.

Ninth grade, where my curls started fizzling out a bit and became more like waves. This was probably the most normal school picture I had ever had. I was finally braces free and I had finally won independence when it came to styling myself for school pictures. 

It was about sophomore year where I went into curly haired denial for two years. I tried to straighten my hair as much as I could those two years, even having my hair chemically straightened once. This picture is from my junior year of high school, right in the middle of those straight years. I don't really remember this picture day, except that day was around 90 degrees outside and the sweater I was wearing made me really hot and sweaty, which probably made my hair start to curl in protest.

And then we come to my senior year of high school, where I came out of straightened denial and started to come to terms about my curly hair. But, the trouble with that was my hair was too long for these pictures, so it was only really curly at the bottom. I  tried my best, but here would start years of curly-hair strife, until a couple of months ago, when I started the Curly Girl Method.

Again, this is pretty much what my hair has looked like throughout my college career. This is the day before starting the Curly Girl Method, with semi-curly/wavy hair. But now, I'm enjoying and embracing my curls...

I finally have uniform curls and I love it! Of course, there are still some days where my hair just doesn't cooperate, but those are less. And I still have straight-hair denial. But I think that I've made some progress.