Tests, All-Nighters, Midterms, Oh My!

For many people being a good student is about being dedicated and focused, about spending hours hunched over some twenty-pound textbook trying to hammer information into your brain. But who has time for that, and moreover, who wants to sacrifice their personal life just to get an A? So here are a few ideas on how to make school work a bit easier…

Although, there is often little time for studying among other things, it is imperative that when you read something for the first time, that you do it right. As my father tells me, “You have to do things right the first time,” so that when you’ve finished with it, you know you are really done. By taking your time the first time around, you avoid having to revisit information, you increase your chances of remembering the information, and you also make yourself more confident in your understanding of the material, allowing you to better solidify what you’ve just learned.

photo credit: http://i.imgur.com/yX11oqe.gif
photo credit: http://i.imgur.com/yX11oqe.gif

A big part of understanding what you’re learning is putting your understanding into words, AKA ‘don’t think about it, talk about it’. This is not to suggest that you should merely parrot back whatever you read in a book, or something that your teacher said, but rather what you should be doing is paraphrasing the information. As nerve-wrecking as this may sound, take advantage of this opportunity! So even if your understanding of the material does not match up with that of your teacher, still say what’s on your mind. Being a good student is all about engaging, so if you are able to support your argument or your understanding with valid information, then, even if you’re wrong, you will be able to talk yourself through the process or be able to verbalize your struggles with the material to someone who can help.

More importantly, to get school work done effectively, you must divide and conquer. Whether you are doing some last minute studying, or preparing for a big test weeks in advance, it is important that you focus on the most important information, and then fill yourself in on the details later. By breaking things down for yourself, and then seeing how the details relate to the bigger themes, you can cut down study time significantly.

Okay, now here’s the part for the procrastinators, hey, I don’t judge and those of you with little time of your hands. If you plan on implementing the previous tips into your daily routine, you can couple them up with five minutes of note reviewing before tests to refresh memory, however, if you need more time for studying, don’t fret because I have one more trick up my sleeve. Simply watch a video on the topic you’re studying, and then find websites that give brief explanations of those topics to help you out.

This Could Be You
photo credit: http://www.playrific.com/images/media/a_1282718443897_28206.png

Once you begin to take studying in steps and try to engage in your studies, understanding comes almost naturally. So good luck in your studies, and remember what you will get out of your studies is what you put in, so don’t study harder, but as my mom has just summed up for me, study smarter.

 

Good luck,

Kayla

The Clean-Up

Overwhelmed with school? Work? Tv sitcoms that try to seem unpredictable, but give away the entire plot in the first few episodes? Well, don’t let a messy room add to your daily frustrations. In the past, I’ve let my room get to the point where I literally would have to jump onto my bed in order to get through the door, it was like a real life game of Super Mario. As fun as that may sound, it made life difficult for me and it made my room a generally uncomfortable place to be. So if you want to avoid spending precious hours (I may be exaggerating) of your life looking for keys, then try some of my tips on how to keep your room clean.

photo credit: http://www.valleymagazinepsu.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/BrittanyTrappe.SpringCleaning.jpg

 

Okay, so the first thing you need to do to clean a mess is to make a mess. As counterintuitive as it sounds, the first thing to do when cleaning your room is to gather all the things that are out of place and make a pile. Once you have your pile, you need to take all of your clothes from the pile and get to hanging. Assuming you have a closet, or drawers, the clothes should be the easiest thing to hang up because they already have a designated spot. So whenever you’re home or have a couple of minutes to clean, just be sure to put away your clothes, it makes a huge difference.

 

So, that brings me to my next point, consistency!!!!!!! With so much, it is absolutely necessary for you to designate spots for your things. A mess is really just a room without structure, so once you create that structure, things get way easier. But don’t worry, this is not as scary as it may sound, try to think about it as if you are playing tetris with your room. Grab things with similar sizes and functions, group ‘em together and then just find a spot.

 

Now that we have some small solutions to our mess, here’s the hard part—getting rid of the excess. I know, I know, this is the part where things get deep… Now wait, before you click off, remember you don’t have to throw your whole life away, but just by taking a few moments to get rid of the old you can clear out a lot of space. So whether you give your things away to a friend or to the Salvation Army, sometimes reevaluating what’s in your room can make cleaning a breeze. Easy, right? No?… wow you’re stubborn, but I like that…

 

The Passive-Aggressive Approach

You’ve made it this far, and it seems like you still need some help. Well, this is another one of those counterintuitive moments for you: sometimes getting more things can help. By buying bins to sort hair products and clothes, you can organize your things into compartments that allow you to maximize your space and to keep old and out-of-season items out of sight and out of mind. By simply re-organizing the furniture in your room, you can give the illusion of a clean room, which can make it easier to prep for occasions when friends come over and to motivate yourself to keep your room clean.

As they say “Home is where the heart is,” so instead of digging under piles of jeggings and t-shirts to find yours, keep your room organized by following these tips and by doing a quick clean up at the end of every week to make your home is as cosy as it can be.

 

Good luck,

Kayla

“Why don’t you comb your hair?”

I love big, wild, curly hair. I always have. Watching old(er) school actresses like Tia and Tamera Mowry from Sister, Sister and Tracee Ellis Ross from Girlfriends was probably a big part of that. But, it was not until recently that I found the courage to wear my hair that way. Up until a short time ago, I thought the only way to wear my texture hair was in a slicked back bun or in two-strand twists. Even though these women were a part of what I saw often on TV, I never thought that my hair was “pretty” enough to be let down like that. In my mind, those styles were for the mixed girls with “prettier” hair.
 tia_tamera
It was not until my final year in high school when I started my hair journey that I was able to let go and let it out. I had been researching a great deal on natural hair; how to care for it and how our hair differs from other textures. I was also looking at different twist out and braid out techniques and saw how beautifully some of them came out. It was a couple months before I finally decided to try one.
I prepped my hair over night: moisturizing and sealing and meticulously placing the hair in chiney bumps (or bantu knots as Americans call them). Then, I took it down in the morning. It did not come out exactly how I wanted it to, but I worked with it and wore it to church. The whole time I was walking on the road and sitting in church I felt incredibly self conscious, like everyone was staring at me (mostly because they were).
At the time, the natural hair movement had not really hit my section of Jamaica yet. Many persons still believed that you either had relaxed straight hair, or you control your natural hair so it looks relaxed. I was one of the first girls in my town who did not have loose, silky ringlets to dare to wear my hair out.
After church, one of the older ladies took me aside and asked me “Why didn’t you comb your hair before you came to church?” My face fell. I was already self conscious and this lady was not helping at all. I mumbled some lame response about trying something new and scuffled away.
All I could think was “I spent hours on this hairstyle, it is combed!” I was genuinely hurt. I had gotten a few complements throughout the day about how thick and nice my hair was, but this was the only one I remembered. As much as it hurt my 18 year old self esteem, I did not try to tie my hair up to make it look more “presentable”.
For the rest of high school, I tried different protective hairstyles that I found on YouTube and more than once persons who asked me “You couldn’t comb yuh hair?” To be honest, my first tries at many styles were not too hot, sometimes they would come out frizzy or lopsided, but I was trying. Eventually, I started getting the hang of it and I felt more confident. It was worth it though, because the moisture and the new found care I had with my hair had it growing longer than it ever was before.
When I got to college, I realized that there were so many other naturals wearing their hair out and wild and I loved it. I was able to accept that my hair is beautiful and now I wear my hair out more often than not. Every now and again there is a noob that asks me why I don’t comb my hair, but now it does not even affect me. I love my wild mane way too much for that.

Real Talk: Relationships, Sex, and Reputation

We are all so pumped, excited and ready to embark our new journey entering college. We come in full of expectations that may go unmet, a mind unopened to things that we’ve never faced, and a stranger to so many new personalities. Everyone that you meet will not come from the same walks of life as yourself.

So real talk, coming in as a teenage girl our minds are naturally engaged to the variety of the men around us. Let me just remind you that everything that looks appealing, may not be good for you. Every guy does not have your best interest in mind…even if he claims otherwise. Sex is a big deal in college. For many guys, that is all that they really want…or nothing at all. Good relationships are rare, and commitment is scarce. It is really difficult to build a relationship with someone within a semester when you’re meeting so many new faces each and every day. I will not say that it is impossible, but it is certainly unlikely. It is up to you to distinguish that in the guy that you are dealing with, as it is extremely important.

Body count, a term created in reference to the number of partners you have had, can make or break you. It is not logical to sexually encounter every guy you meet, so, when your body count begins to peak, your reputation begins to decline. You have to be mindful of the fact that what people think of you, sometimes matters more than you may want it to. You would never want information regarding your one-night stand getting back to someone who has any form of authority over you. Also, a misrepresentation of you can easily become the representation of who you are. You have now become that person, whether it is who you really are, or not.

It’s all about branding yourself, how people perceive you, and you have to be mindful of that. Your reputation is something that you should value, because it can and it will affect the legacy that you leave behind. Carry yourself accordingly. Don’t focus too much on building relationships with these guys that don’t want anything more than sex, and build more with those wanting to impact your life positively. Be mindful of the legacy that you want to leave behind, and maintain reputation that compliments your interest and what best represents who you are.

Time Stops for No Fro

As a student, I’m always on the run, but one of my goals for this year is to make sure that even when in a rush, I dedicate myself to taking care of my body. So here’s to the one of the parts of my body, and likely yours, that needs some of the most TLC—the hair.

Between wash days, there are times when it seems like there is nothing we can do to care for our hair. With all the spritzing of water and slathering of products, it can seem like nothing will do the job but another wash day, thus comes the Baggy Method. After applying water (just enough to dampen and not to soak the hair) and the product or oil of your choice, place a shower cap or a plastic baggy over your head and just wait. Whether you’re eating dinner, working, or even sleeping, you can use this method to quench your hair with moisture and to reduce manipulation to it. Not only is this method great for home, but it can also be a great way to care for your hair on the go. As you leave your house, simply grab your baggy or shower cap, slip a small portion of hair out to make a flat twist or a bang, throw on a hat, and TA-DAH! You’ve just successfully multitasked, getting out of your house quickly and caring for your hair all in one swift move.

Not a fan of the baggy method? Or want something a bit more suitable for the winter months? Try looking for new methods to getting your hair detangled and styled quickly. For instance, vloggers like Naptural85 have great videos on quick detangling methods. As seen in Naptural’s 25 Minute Cowash + Detangle video, she provided a quick and easy way to get hair ready for styling without all the hassle of a dry detangle. Couple her method with a few chunky twists and a head wrap, and you cannot only get to bed earlier, but you can have a nice twist out ready for the next morning. As you get more comfortable with this method, you can begin to experiment on days when you are more free so that you optimize your time for future washdays. Just remember the more you do your hair, in simple or complex styles, the easier and quicker becomes the process of doing it.

Although, all days will not be perfect hair days, sometimes you can turn them into one. If you’re not finished with your hair, simply take the part that is not done and make a flat twist out of it, and then add on to the hairstyle over the course of the week and people will actually think you’re changing it up. When you want to take care of your hair, but don’t have the time to do a lot, try pushing your hair up into a bun, moisturizing the ends of your hair and tucking them into the bun for a fun protective style. By putting your hair into this style, not only do you create a quick style to go, but you also stretch your hair, which can be useful for setting yourself up for future looks.

So all this is to say, no worries, “everything little thing is going to be all right”… literally! By taking small steps to take care of your hair each day you ensure that big things like sleep and work get done too, and more so that your hair is knows you’ve got it’s back, or strands.

 

Good luck,

Kayla

 

photo credit: http://bit.ly/1tZK5S5

Naturally Redefined: Delaware’s 3rd Annual Natural Hair & Holistic Health Expo

Picture this.

An explosion of natural hair, natural hair products, and beautiful people who are naturally natural. It’s a naturalista’s heaven, and that is exactly what Naturally Redefined: Delaware’s 3rd Annual Natural Hair & Holistic Health Expo was.

This was my first time ever going to a natural hair show or expo, and I got to be a vlogger for Naturally Redefined, as well as represent Curly in College as a blogger on a panel discussing natural hair care and flair. The experience, priceless.

“I like coming,” said one Naturally Redefined attendee. “I like coming to get products, seeing the new things, being educated on other things about natural hair. And I come with my hairdresser.”

Naturally Redefined really put a perspective on the natural hair community with the workshops, panels, and various vendors that were in attendance. New to the expo this year was the element of holistic health, as the owners of Naturally Redefined, Tywanda Howie and Akira Grenardo made apparent in the planning of the expo.

I was able to gain a lot of new natural hair goodies from the show, such as free samples, a cute T-shirt from Designs Styled 4 You, a satin bonnet, a book on hair politics, and skin tone complimenting new head scarf.

I was also able to meet some natural hair bloggers, some well-known in the Youtube sphere (NapturalNicole, BlackOnyx77, Karen Tappin [Karen’s Body Beautiful]), and discuss hair, protective styles, and just get to know them one-on-one.

Vlogging for Naturally Redefined was a great experience. I got to talk to a lot of different people about their experience and why they liked coming to the expo, or how they got to come, whether it was through friends, social media, or interest. I also got to talk to various vendors and get an understanding of their products like, Loc Soc, Shea Betta, and Alikay Naturals.

Lastly, being on a panel with well-esteemed women in the natural hair community was mind-blowing! It was surreal to even be mentioned among this group of women. I got to answer questions and educate some people on natural hair, which was a great feeling. It wasn’t just my friends asking for advice, but people I had just met. It speaks wonders.

I cannot wait to go back next year, and hopefully get to be a part of it again. In the words of Tywanda Howie and Akira Grenardo, if you weren’t here, “you missed out!”

Blogger Panel 3
Natural Hair & Flair Blogger’s Panel
Blogger Panel
We’re Naturally Redefined
Blogger planel 2
#Usie

 

Photo Cred: AJ James, @imruggedlygroomed

My Go To Protective Style

 

My favorite go to protective style is so simple: flat twist with bantu knots to make the ends curly. I included a picture below. I like this style because it can be worn anywhere and it’s easy to do. It takes less than an hour to do, and after a day of Chemistry and Calculus… you need the least time constricting hairstyle possible!

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Here are a few pictures of me wearing this style on my campus (AGGIE PRIDE!)

 20140709_105226   20140709_105220 (1)

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20140712_231703 20140712_231734

 

 

20140709_004922 20140712_204147

 

 

Do any of you have your favorite protective style that you always go to? If so, share in the comment section below!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Confessions Of A Product Junkie

I don’t have to be a rocket scientist or see constant natural hair memes to realize I’m a product junkie. The photo above (featured image of the post) is a picture of some, I REPEAT SOME, products that I have. I have more than that, but I couldn’t carry all of that to the table LOL.

So, I’ve come up with a few questions for myself about the product addiction I have.

  1. Why do you buy so many products?
  2. How much have you spent on products so far?
  3. How often do you use your products?
  4. Do you have a favorite or your choice of favorites?

 

1. I have so many products because I’m also a shopping addict. I can’t go into a mall without buying something because I feel the need to always buy something! Every time I watch a hair commercial on TV or on YouTube, I want to try the product out and use it for myself, try it on my mom’s hair who is natural as well, or do a product review on it. Also, it seems like a lot to someone, but to me… each product has its own purpose.

2. Honestly, just on 5 bottles of Organix I’ve spent $26. So I know I’ve spent about $250 -$300 on the hair products shown in the picture. The beauty store in Charlotte that I go to, prices their products a little high.

3. Honestly, I only wear my natural hair out about half of the year because summer is CURL SEASON (to me at least lol) and because I enjoy wearing protective styles (wigs) more.

4. My favorite products are Aphogee 2 Minute Protein Reconstructor, Organix Kukui Shampoo, and Pantene Cowash.

 


 

 

 

Photo Source: http://www.letmeletyouknow.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Product-junkie.jpg

Product Review: Miss Jessie’s Pillow Soft Curls

Wash N Go – A Fluffy Soft Curl – For People Who Don’t Want Ramen Noodle Definition And Instead Want A Larger Expanded Curl

Description: Miss Jessie’s Pillow Soft Curls is a styling lotion that has medium thickness in consistency. It has a fresh, clean, heavenly scent for those who are into how their products smell.

Process: I did a wash-n-go with this product, but I’m not a fan of this styling method on my hair. Once it dried I put it up in “puff” or pineapple. But what I did notice when I finger combed the product through my wet hair was that it was easy to glide through and it helped to elongate my hair while wet. I can’t say the same for when my hair started to dry (the main reason, I’m not a fan of wash-n-gos on my hair).

Packaging: It comes in a 8.5 fluid ounce tube that is squeezable for easy access to the product. The packaging has blue detailing with pink letters.

Likes: It stayed true to the description on the tube (as stated above) to an extent. I have 4a hair, so my curls are like little spiral springs, as opposed to larger, looser curl patterns. It definitely made my hair softer and defined. I have never seen my curls so defined until I used this product, so that’s a plus. It made my hair uniformed and tamed, as opposed to the bigger the better, which I am a fan of. But the tamed look was a nice change of look.

Dislikes: Although I totally loved the product overall, I didn’t like that it was hard for my hair to stretch and expand days after using the product. I did not receive an expanded curl like the description suggests.

Rate: A-

This was the first Miss Jessie’s product I have ever tried. They’re a little too pricey for me, but I was surprisingly pleased. I’d suggest this to anyone who is thinking about trying out this product.

Check out other reviews on Miss Jessie’s Pillow Soft Curls from the GlamTwinz & Curly Casey!

 

Photo Source: bit.ly/1uKZgzM

Honey Shampoo: My Experience

It seems that every time I get on the internet, after 11 I find the most interesting, most thoughtless topics and I, being outgoing, am impelled to try them. Honey Shampoo sounded so odd to me, I just had to try it!!!


 

Here is an excerpt from the article I read on empoweredsustenance.com

“Ingredients

  • Raw honey (also called “unpasteurized” honey), I recommend this one
  • Filtered water (see Instructions for measurements), I use and recommend this filter
  • A few drops of essential oils, such as carrot seed oil, optional 

Instructions

  1. Make the shampoo “single serving” basis to prevent spoilage. Here’s the basic ratio, but you can adjust it as desired: 1 Tbs. raw honey and 3 Tbs. filtered water. If necessary, slightly heat the mixture over very low heat to help dissolve the honey. Yes, this is really watery… that is how it is supposed to be.
  2. If desired, add a few drops of essential oil. I like adding two drops of lavender essential oils and two drops of carrot seed oil. The essential oils add a light fragrance and also help with any flaky scalp issues. The carrot seed oil (found here) is very nourishing to the hair.
  3. Wet hair, then massage a few tablespoons of the honey shampoo on the scalp. Massage well to distribute over the scalp. Don’t worry about getting the mixture on the ends of the hair, just the scalp area. Rinse well. No need to follow with any conditioner.
  4. If desired, you can follow with a DIY apple cider vinegar rise, recipe and instructions found here.”

To read more of the article, click here


 

 

How to wash your hair with honey
Photo Source: http://empoweredsustenance.com/diy-honey-shampoo/

After following the instructions (adding cocounut oil, olive oil, and castor oil), and a month of washing my hair using this method… I did notice a difference.

I noticed that my hair was much more moisturized than it normally is. I contribute this to the fact that Honey is a humectant and humectants draw moisture from the air and bring it to your hair. Also, since this was not a regular shampoo, I believe that my hair didn’t experience the drying effects of shampoo because the honey shampoo is not a ‘REAL’ shampoo (using the word ‘real’ is tricky).

I didn’t really notice a lot of hair growth using this method, but then again I wasn’t really looking for length changes when I started honey shampooing.

Also, my hair felt oily and greasy. I’m not a natural who wants squeaky clean hair because I actually like the texture of my hair when it has a little oil and product build up (Yes it’s strange, but I like it), but this greasy feeling is like no other. Maybe it was greasy because my hair wasn’t getting cleaned, just kind of rinsed by the honey.

I currently don’t use this method of shampooing my hair anymore because I didn’t like the greasy feeling, plus I’m a Product Junkie in recovery and I want to use the products in my cabinet that I spent my hard earned money on. Also, preparing the mixture in every time I wanted to wash my hair was a challenge because you have to prepare it. In a culture where everything is Instant… I like my INSTANT shampoo.

 

Have you Curlies ever tried a new way of shampooing your hair? If so, share your experience below!!