Feeling the Need to be Profound

Whenever I look back at my old, infrequent posts, I get this feeling that I really need to say something profound here. My past blog posts have been superficial, maybe slightly interesting, but expressing myself through written word has never been my thing. The reality is is that I will probably never write something genuinely profound on this blog.

I ted to have my philosophical, political, religious musing out loud with my husband normally in the car (this makes driving dangerous because we miss important turns). This is why debate was such a good place for me in high school. Instead of being worried about if my comma placement was correct or if I had a hanging participle (I’m still not entirely sure what that is), I could just talk.

I had to talk well with good rhythm, not say tin for ten or pin for pen, keep my voice in a pleasant octave (I can get annoyingly high pitched), not use too many hand gestures (that’s hard!) and more.

Speech and debate really helped me find things that I was passionate about. I was always more interested in sub-categories of the topics more often than the topic as a whole. Sometimes, like with the alternative energies topic, I did enjoy the whole topic granted I had a niche within the nuclear energy debate.

Really that particular year solidified my desires to go into the nuclear industry. While I knew I didn’t want to do power production, I saw so much misinformation or misconceptions. They made me mad. People said things that essentially insulted my dad and all the hard work he did in the Navy and when he worked at STP (South Texas Project). My boyfriend at the time would always jokingly talk about my dad when people would talk about nuclear energy causing cancer and etc. One would think that people that were submerged in water for days at a time along with a nuclear reactor would be the first ones to have issues.

I’m not sure where I am going with this post which is why I probably will never be a famous blogger. Though if people could hear me muse while driving home everyday I would be the most profound person you ever met! I’m glad that in Illinois you have to talk on the phone in your car hands free or people would think I’m crazy! They just assume I’m talking on the phone though it didn’t stop me in Texas. 🙂

Curly Girl update….

I gave up!

Well I didn’t really just give up. After more and more research, I realized I didn’t have the type of hair and texture for the Curly Girl method to work. I may have big waves and at times big curls, but I do not have the stereotypical large diameter hairs and dry, frizzy texture. My hair is rather fine (though I have many hairs on my head) and I do not have a dryness or frizz problem.

I have a volume problem. That’s right! A curly headed person with a volume problem! I get no lift at my roots and it just gets worse as I add more product to my hair. This was discovered during my Curly Girl week (it wasn’t really a week more like 3 days). On naturallycurly.com I found an article with an interview with some fancy NYC hair stylist talking about girls with hair exactly like mine. His take on good hair care for the fine haired curly girls is exactly opposite of normal curly girls. His suggestions were to drop conditioner on a daily basis. Only deep condition 1-2 times a month and DON’T skip shampoo because the build up with weigh down your hair.

He went on to talk about finding a shampoo that didn’t have anything drying in it, but would still fully clean your scalp every day. For me Tresemme’s curly line has been just that. My hair feels moisturized after shampooing! I still condition the ends of my hair because they are generally more dry than the rest of my head.

If I want more defined curls I use a product, but most days I air dry to have big waves/curls and good volume that lasts most of the day.

My advice for all girls is to figure out what is best for your hair. Don’t just read one of two articles about a hair type that is only kind of like yours. Search and find articles are hair that is like yours. If you can’t there are ways to experiment. Experiment with your shampooing/conditioning routine. Experimet with products (what order to put them in, which ones work best together, which ones work best for what look). I have really enjoyed experimenting with different products. There is always some product on sale for a dollar or 2 at Meijer so I generally pick something up if there is still money in the budget. Still be careful with alcohols and ‘cones and etc. If you are a heavy product user you may want to stay away from all the bad stuff, but if you only use it sometimes like me just make sure the first ingredient isn’t something that is going to harm your hair.

Finding a church in the “godless” North…

My brother always jokes about how Ethan and I moved to the “godless” North. It more references the liberal leanings of the North than lack of religion. There are a lot of extremely religious people in the area and even out in the suburbs there are a plethora of beliefs. But while there are churches, mosques, synagogues, etc everywhere in the area, Ethan and I struggled to find one that fit both of us.

I grew up in only Southern Baptist churches. Some more traditional than others, though I only remember two. When I met Ethan he was going to a SBC (southern baptist convention) church which was the church my family joined. He stayed there even when his parents left the church and would come back at holidays. Neither of us fit the SBC “mold” 100% but at our church back home in Longview, that was okay. We both are thinker and like to question things and that was okay. Neither of us got to know the pastor that just came to the church in 2012 but from holidays and summers both of us knew that we didn’t exactly agree with him on everything. I always felt like he did do a good job of giving us his interpretation and how the Holy Spirit moved him and left room for your own interpretation. Our sunday school teacher who was also a deacon loved when people had their own ideas and expressed their own thoughts and created discourse about passages.

But even so when we moved we set out to find a new denomination or independent church that fit closer to our own opinions. The first church we visisted was great when it came to teaching and theology. It had a very young pastor and had a must more “progressive” view on the Bible (I use the word progressive in a light way, not in the super liberal political way). We fit with the teachings, but the church so progressive in dress, music style, decor and atmosphere, I struggled to stay engaged. I know that this isn’t the best reason to dismiss a church, but it was difficult for me to worship and study in the environment. It was like I walked into a hipster photo shoot that happened to have a band playing too. It was too much.

For the next couple of weeks we ran into the “oh my gosh this church feels so fake” issue. Uber contemporary, Uber all about me not God during worship (the congregations being mic’d and etc). We had some very uncomfortable Sundays.

Mixed in with all these awkward Sundays, we found two churches. One in the town we were living in and one about 20 minutes away. We decided for our sake and getting into the groove of going to church every Sunday, we needed to pick. By this time I am already tired of my 1 hour drive to work so we already decided to move closer come May. This lead us to decide on the church that was farther away until we heard something that we couldn’t compromise on or if we didn’t feel lead to the church. Regardless we needed to try to get plugged in somewhere.

Now that we have been going for about 6 weeks or so, I am trying to get plugged into the women’s ministry. We’ll see how things go. We haven’t been to Sunday school yet, but that will come when Ethan isn’t as busy. This church though seems likea good place to be. Its non denominational but holds true to some of the more important “traditional” beliefs that we have but doesn’t have some of the more rule like beliefs that most SBC churches have. It is smaller than what we came from but I think it will be nice to grow along side a growing congregation.

Wife of an architecture grad student…

So Ethan started his last year of his Master of Architecture this summer after completing a 1 year internship. When we were dating while in undergrad, it was all long distance. My only concept of how busy he was when about once a month or so he wouldn’t call for 3-5 days and texts messages would be few and far between.

Now that we are married it is a little different from that. I wouldn’t say that it is terribly difficult but there is some frustration. Some of his assignments he has to do on campus, he likes to meet with professors, professors like to keep classes later (always the night classes), his phone always died before the end of the day, and there are literally days where I don’t see him or speak real words to him until 10-10:30 at night (let me remind you I wake up at 5:30 to get ready for work). While his schedule is nothing like he described (or maybe it feels that way to me because he at least comes home and works at his desk instead of staying at studio until the wee hours of the morning) I have created a few things I do to keep myself and him from going crazy.

1. I cook some sort of dinner every single night that he doesn’t have to be at school late. Granted we are sit at the dinner table types of people (I have no idea what we will do once we have kids), but sitting around the coffee table watching Doctor Who and eating tex-mex together just helps with keeping some kind of feeling that we are married and a couple and its where we do the majority of our talking.

2. We attempt to go on walks… my attempt I mean once a week, and sometimes not at all, but we try! The dog needs it too.

3. I do a lot of cleaning on the days he is at school late. Then I can clean my way and there is no “but my mom told me to do it this way” comments or discussions (though those generally aren’t bad conversations with us. We are good about just making suggestions). Cleaning has to be done and it is a good stress reliever, though there are only so many times you can clean the kitchen and vaccuum the floors.

4. I know exactly when I am allowed to distract my husband from his work and I take advantage of those opportunities.

5. Going on mini-dates. These generally are our Sunday lunches after church, but going out to eat and then taking a stroll in downtown Geneva or St. Charles is a nice easy way to get away from it all.

6. I play with my dog, Lilly.

As you can see not all of these concern both of us. Some of them are my way of not going crazy. I’m sure Ethan has his own by himself activities so he doesn’t go crazy (i.e. computer games). It’s good in all relationships to have things to do together to get away from it all and have things to do on your own or with your own friends. Its just healthy.

Why People are Being so Mean to Victoria Osteen

Reagan Rose Blog

joel1The following clip of Victoria Osteen, wife and co-pastor to Joel Osteen, has been making the rounds on my Facebook feed. In the clip Mrs. Osteen encourages the 40,000 some odd congregants of Lakewood church to “do good for your own self”. But, she adds, to do good not just for God’s sake, but “do good because God wants you to be happy.” The clip finishes with a shot of Bill Cosby saying, “that’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard in my life!” from the Cosby Show.

It struck me that some people who watch, listen, or read Joel & Victoria Osteen, and find their messages encouraging, might be confused by this. Perhaps you’ve heard others say critical things about the Osteens. Why are people saying this is a stupid statement? Who would want to knock down the Osteens when they inspire so many? Doesn’t God want us to be happy? Why are people so against of these…

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When I need my Tex-Mex fix

So because I have lived in Texas my whole life until 3 months ago, I have survived off of Tex-Mex. This wonderful mexican inspired food category does not exist in the Northern world (at least not Illinois). There is suppsedly “authentic mexian” food, but I haven’t found a place that competes with the authentic places back home. But this post isn’t about authentic mexican food. Its abut Tex-Mex. And what is more Tex-Mex than a ranch based jalapeno dip!

Creamy jalapeno started at Chuy’s Tex-Mex restaurant in Austin, Texas. It has since expanded into a pretty well known “chain” that is in college towns or near colleges in big cities in Texas (with a recent addition in Norman, OK). It is the reason I would go to Chuy’s is for this dip.

After moving to Illinois, my husband and I needed a way to quench our need for Tex-Mex. We found a creamy jalapeno recipe on pinterest and have adjusted it to our liking. (Note: this is not a creamy jalapeno copy cat, it is close but better!)

Ingredients:

2 medium- large fresh jalapenos (depending on your heat preference)

16 oz of sour cream (do not use light sour cream, it doesn’t taste right)

1 hidden valley ranch mix packet

10-15 leaves of cilantro

1 4 oz can of green chiles

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp garlic powder (can use fresh if you prefer)

milk (for thinning, use skim if you want)

Instructions:

chop up jalapenos. put jalapenos (with seeds for extra heat), green chiles and cilatro in a blender (a single serve blender will be big enough), blend until creamy. Set to the side. Put sour cream, ranch mix, salt and garlic powder into a bowl and mix well together. Add green mixture from the blender into the sour scream mixture. Mix well. Thin to prefered consistency with milk. There should be no clumps of green in your mixture. Depending on the freshness and color of the green ingredients don’t freak out if your dip has green tinge to it. Chill dip in refrigerator for about 10-30 minutes (depending on if your sour cream was already cold). Eat with tortilla chips, on burritos, tacos, enchalida and etc!

Link for the recipe we modified:

http://unskinnyboppy.com/2014/04/chuys-copycat-creamy-jalapeno-dip-recipe/

A Hair Journey: The Curly Girl Method

I only have one other post in my hair/fashion section. My journey to grow out my hair still continues to this day. Growing out a pixie cut is a lot of work. I recommend thinking about this before ever doing it. Though it was my favorite hair cut of all time, but I think Ethan would be very sad if I cut it that short again.

When I was young my hair was straight and super greasy. Because of this my mom always kept my hair in a short cute bob. It was easier for her to get my hair to do something at the shorter lengths. As I got older my hair started to thicken. Well not the strands. I was getting more strands. I have very fine strands of hair, but a good amount of it. As I got more hair things started to change. There was wave in my hair. It started to get unruly and frizzy. I went through a huge pony tail phase during 5th and 6th grade. My hair was still super greasy at this point too. Sometime between 7th and 8th grade, my waves started to turn more into an S shape. I was wavy curly! During 9th and 10th, I developed big, soft riglets. My hair was like this until freshman year of college. That is when everything changed.

My hair lost its life. I finally had grown it out past my shoulders, but it just hung there. I cut my hair off to a more modern bob and kept it short. After much research and talking to my wonderful hairstylist in college, we both realized my hair problems were too fold: I was too stressed in college and I wasn’t taking care of my curls.

After this realization, I have set out to correct these mistakes. Decreasing my stress-levels will be the most difficult and maybe not possible. I can; however, take care of my hair better. I have been investigating curly hair care and “no-poo” techniques for awhile. Most all have a commone theme for curly hiar. “STOP WASHING YOUR HAIR WITH SHAMPOO” Different methods tell you different ways to continue to cleanse your hair rather than lather up with sulfates (the same soapy stuff in your dish washing detergent).

I tried two different “no-poo” techniques my senior year of college. The first one involved getting a sulfate-free conditioning cleanser and a sulfate-free conitioner. This worked for awhile, but my hair felt heavy afterwards. I never felt like I could work the conditioning cleanser through out my hair. I did this for about 2 months (the aprosimate time people said it took for your hair to get used to it). My hair never seemed to adjust.

The second “no-poo” was a regiment that my friend from college did. He had gorgeous, tight, spiral curls. First he would mix baking soda and water together to cleanse (the ratio really depends on your hair, I googled and found someone who seemed to have similar hair to mine and copied their ratios. I don’t remember them though). The next was a mixture of apple cider vinegar and water to rinse. Don’t worry the apple cider vinegar doesn’t leave a smell. This actually worked really well and the next time I went to the hair dresser she commented on my increase in curls. My issue with this method was I had to make stuff. That was the hardest thing for me. Granted it is alot cheaper (so is making your own detergent or cleaner of any kind). I found my self grabbing my shampoo/conditioner I had stored away on those days I didn’t have any. This would make me go a few steps back in the process. At this point, I gave up. Went back to what I always had done.

Somehow, in all my research I never found the “Curly Girl Method” till yesterday!

Right now I am adjusting the steps explained out by the blog A.Steed’s.Life  ( http://www.andreasteed.com/node/1296 ). From her before picture she seems to have very similar hair as I do. I just bought new conditioner and shampoo (which I’m not using), but I think my husband may die if I went out and bought new conditioners.

I’m currently just using my 1 conditioner for each step. I use less during the washing phase and more during the deep conditioning phase. I have been using Redken’s Curvaceous Swirl Creme/Serum for a few years now and have always loved it. It doesn’t feel to heavy and my hair still feels soft.

For my first day doing this, I think it was a slight success. The hair around my face definitely is curling much better. The back of my head went a little crazy and I think I used too much of my curl creme. I need to work on the co-washing my hair with conditioner part especially and I probably just need to focus the deep conditioning to the middle and roots of hair. My scalp is still as oily has it was when I was a little girl.

I’m not giving up, but since my hair feels a tad heavy and greasy in some spots, I put it up into a loose bun. With all hair ponytails can be dangerous. Make sure it is loose (no facelifts from you ponytail) and never wear it in the same spot. When you braid you should also braid losely. Now loose doesn’t mean your ponytail is going fall out or there is hair falling out of your braid all over the place. Just make sure you don’t give you self a headache or can feel the hair pull away from your head. This can kill you hair (basically) and you can have permanent hair damage.

I’ll give an up date at the end of this week or the beginning of next week.