Tuesday, March 13, 2012

My Hair-y Experiment: The Curly Girl Method

You go to the doctor, and he returns with bad news. "You have lung cancer, it seems," he explains, but doesn't seem heavy or worried at all. This unsettles you, and you press him for answers. 

"Doctor," you say, "how long do I have? What can I do?"

The doctor chuckles and makes a note on his clipboard. "How much time do you have? Well, I suppose that is up to you. The good news is that all of the cancer will go away on its own in time. But only if you stop smoking. Every time you have a cigarette, you will loose weeks of your life. But, if you stop completely, you can erase all of the damage."

You walk away, relieved, and immediately stop cold turkey. 


You have curly hair, you have cancer. 

Yep, you heard me. Cancer. That is, if you try to live in denial of your curly locks. Forcing your curls to do something they weren't made to do hurts your hair, and most importantly, your very special curls. If you straighten, "blow-fry", flat-iron, hide in hat, bun, braid, paper bag . . . you have GC disease: Girls with Curls!

After discovering "Curly Girl: The Handbook" by Lorraine Massey, I've decided to embark on a strange, new adventure: styling my hair without a straightener, comb, or shampoo. Every time you torture your hair into looking like something it isn't, you cause massive damage and put undo pressure on your hair to solve your life's problems. (Ever have a nice flat do go POOF mid-day, only to ruin the rest of it?) 

Doesn't sound possible? You can follow me as I document my progress as I seek to challenge myself to "curls only" for six weeks. 

The products I purchased. I did buy a DevaCurl microfiber towel (available at beauty salons and at Ulta and Ulta.com). I could have gone safe (and expensive) and purchased all DevaCurl products to ensure the best reaction and care of my curls. But I wanted to test my ability to follow the clear directions from Lorraine on what to purchase, what to avoid, etc. From Left to Right: Conditioner, almond oil, lavender essential oil, conditioner, cleanser, microfiber towel, vegetable glycerin, hair gel, spray bottles x2, clips, and bobby pins. 

Hair, Day 2. Annoyed me, but looks pretty decent in the picture. 

Day 4 - fought with it and had to refresh with the lavender spray twice. Was also raining this day. Ugh.

Day 4  - 3/4 rear view

Day 5 - today! I really liked the way my hair turned out. I pinned the roots for lift and turned the heater on in my car on the way to work to act like a diffuser and set the curls. I later styled it like this using a style suggestion in the book. 

    The book is really great. It details how to determine your specific curl type and details daily routines for each curl. The best part is that these routines take less than 20 minutes, from washing to styling! (Much better than wasting over an hour to straighten only to have it damage my hair and be ruined in a 2 minute rain pour.) Also discussed in the book is curly methods for ethnic hair, curly children, curly men, and even includes detailed instructions (and pictures - I like pictures) of how to trim/maintain your hair in between professional styling. With homemade recipes to give your hair a green routine clean as well as curl stories from others, it will give you the encouragement you need to press on when you want to shave everything off and buy a wig (as I was tempted to many a day....). 

Hoping you join me!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

U.S. Oil? Interesting Email Forward

OIL - You better be sitting down when you read this !!!!!!

Cruz Construction started a division in North Dakota just 6 months ago.

They sent every Kenworth (9 trucks) they had in Alaska to North Dakota along

with several drivers. They just bought two new Kenworths to add to that

fleet; one being a Tri Drive tractor and a new 65 ton lowboy to go with it.

They also bought two new cranes (one crawler & one rubber tired) for that


Dave Cruz said they have moved more rigs in the last 6 months into ND than

Cruz Construction moved into Alaska in the last 6 years.

Williston is like a gold rush town; they moved one of their 40 man camps

down there since there are no rooms available.

Unemployment in ND is the lowest in the nation at 3.4 percent last I


See anything in the national news about how the oil industry is fueling

North Dakota's economy? I don't think so.

Here's an astonishing read. Important and verifiable information:

About 6 months ago, this writer was watching a news program on oil and one

of The Forbes brothers was the guest. The host said to Forbes, "I am going

to ask you a direct question and I would like a direct answer; how much oil

does the U.S. have in the ground?" Forbes did not miss a beat. He said,

without hesitating, "More than all the Middle East put together."

The U.S. Geological Survey issued a report in April 2008 that only

Scientists and oil men knew was coming, but man was it big. It was a

revised report (hadn't been updated since 1995) on how much oil was in this

area of the western 2/3 of North Dakota, western South Dakota, and extreme

eastern Montana.

Check THIS out:

The Bakken is the largest domestic oil discovery since Alaska's Prudhoe Bay

and has the potential to eliminate all American dependence on foreign oil.

The Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimates it at 503 billion

barrels. Even if just 10% of the oil is recovered (5 Billion barrels), at

$107 a barrel, we're looking at a resource base worth more than $5.3


When I first briefed legislators on this, you could practically see their

jaws hit the floor.

"We had no idea," says Terry Johnson, the Montana Legislature's financial


"This sizable find is now the highest-producing onshore oil field found in

The past 56 years," reports The Pittsburgh Post Gazette.

It's a formation known as the Williston Basin, but is more commonly referred

to as the 'Bakken.' It stretches from Northern Montana, through North

Dakota and into Canada .

For years, U.S. Oil exploration has been considered a dead end. Even the

'Big Oil' companies gave up searching for major oil fields decades ago.

However, a recent technological breakthrough has opened up the Bakken's

massive reserves, and we now have access of up to 500 billion barrels. And

because this is light, sweet oil, those billions of barrels will cost

Americans just $16 PER BARREL!!!!!! That's enough crude to fully fuel the

American economy for 2041 years straight. If THAT didn't throw you on the

floor, then this next one should - The report is from 2006 !!!!!!

U.S. Oil Discovery - Largest Reserve in the World

Stansberry Report Online - 4/20/2006

Hidden 1,000 feet beneath the surface of the Rocky Mountains lies the

Largest untapped oil reserve in the world. It contains more than 2 TRILLION

barrels. On August 8, 2005 President Bush Mandated its extraction. In six

and a half years of high oil prices none has been extracted.

With this mother lode of oil, why are we still fighting over off-shore


The report stated this stunning news: "We have more oil inside our borders,

than all the other proven reserves on Earth." Here are the official


8 times as much oil as Saudi Arabia

18 times as much oil as Iraq

21 times as much oil as Kuwait

22 times as much oil as Iran

500 times as much oil as Yemen

And it's all right here in the Western United States !!!!!!

HOW can this BE? HOW can we NOT BE extracting this oil?

Because the ENVIRONMENTALISTS and others have blocked all efforts to help

America become independent of foreign oil! Again, we are letting a small

group of people dictate our lives and our economy. WHY?

James Bartis, lead researcher with the study says, "We've got more oil in

this very compact area than the entire Middle East, more than 2 TRILLION

barrels untapped."

That's more than all the proven oil reserves of crude oil in the World

today, reports The Denver Post.

Don't think 'OPEC' will drop its price even with this find? Think again!

It's all about the competitive marketplace, it has to drop its price.

Here's a thought. Think OPEC just might be funding the environmentalists?

Got your attention yet? Now, while you're thinking about it, do this:

Pass this along. If you don't take a little time to do this, then you

should stifle yourself the next time you complain about gas prices. By

doing NOTHING, you forfeit your right to complain.

Now I just wonder what would happen in this country if every one of you sent

this to everyone in your address book.

By the way, this can all be verified. Check it out at the links below !!!!!!


Monday, November 14, 2011

Family Update

Hello, friends and family!

What is our little family up to these days? Nathan is working on editing his completed novel while simultaneously writing a second. He also works about 35/hrs a week at Publix and does an excellent job in the deli. I work as the Association Executive for the local Association of Realtors, handling calls and emails and paying the bills. This is a part-time job that I really enjoy as it uses both my managerial and customer service skills.

In the church, I sing in the choir and also do specials, as my voice allows. We both are excited to see how the Lord will use our giving to missions, especially after the missions conference this past week.

I am very happily working on my photography business, Amber Michelle Photography, when I'm not working for the Association. And in my spare time, I draw Nathan's character's from his books. He says this is the best way to keep him inspired. :)

Thanksgiving will be spent with my side of the family. We are looking forward to plenty of good home-cooked food! Both Mom and I will be in the kitchen, and Nathan often helps out when there is room. Christmas, we hope, will be spent with Nathan's side of the family, provided we get the time off. Please keep this in your prayers as we are very excited about the possibilities! Nathan and I have been craving a good ol' road trip, and going out to TN to see the family would cure it. While there, we hope to see some of the Chattanooga sights and also finally get Nathan's dental procedure finished while in the area.

God has been so good to us, and we are both so thankful for our jobs, and for my parents who let us stay at their place temporarily.

Happy Early Thanksgiving!

Sunday, October 09, 2011


It's only the beginning of October, and I marvel at how Thanksgiving seems to be a forgotten holiday. Already, JCPenney has their Christmas merchandise on the shelves to tempt browsers to purchase things they don't really need. Or rather, they would realize they wouldn't need if they paused to be thankful.

Thanksgiving isn't marketable. Stores don't put window clings that state, "Be Thankful! Take a day and don't buy anything!" But that is essentially what Thanksgiving would do. It would remind us of the good things we already have, thank God for them, and be satisfied.

If your wanter gets more excercise than your thanker, you are out of shape! Here is how I've been trying to practice my thanker while shopping:

When I see something that I would like to get (shirt, sweater, shoes, etc.) I pause and think about the stuff I have at home. Many time I find that I already have something very similiar and don't need it. In fact, my thanker sometimes kicks in there since I stopped to think before spending my husband's and my hard earned money on something I did not need! Sometimes, however, I come across a deal that seems 'to good to pass.' What do I do then? First, I thank (there is that key word again!) God for my job and for the money He has given me to even allow me to consider buying something I 'want' rather than 'need.' Then, I ask God if it is something He wants me to have. Sometimes, it isn't. And that's okay. Sometimes, I just know this was something that God allowed me to find so that I could spend His investments wisely.

Have you exercised your thanker lately? How?

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

One of the sites I love to frequent for inspiration is Reveriemine.com. They are doing a fantastic giveaway with lots of goodies from many generous vendors. It is well worth your time to check it out! Click the image to find out more about the contest and to find great ways to be inspired!

Image copyright Reveriemine.com.

Friday, September 09, 2011

This post originally went out in 2006 - I think it is time to play again! Fill out in the comments below. Feel free to post this on your blog or facebook!

I ____ Amber.

Amber is __________.

Amber needs to ________.

I want to ________ Amber.

I think Amber should _________.

In one word, I would describe Amber as________.

I can see Amber being (a) ________ someday.

Someday Amber will ________.

Amber reminds me of ________.

Without Amber my life would be ________.

Amber can be ________.

Worst thing about Amber is ________.

Best thing about Amber is ________ .

One thing I would change about Amber is her ________.

Amber needs ________.

I am ________with Amber.

I would give Amber a _______.

Amber will be (is!) _________ in college.

Amber is obssessed with _________.

In a hostage situation, Amber would _________.

Amber _______ on the beach with _______ in______ and cried out "___________".

Amber looks like __(person)___.

Amber acts like__________.

Amber's ____ are ______.

I ____ Amber.

I wish Amber would______.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

God's Goodness

Pastor's message on Sunday about being a prayer warrior was just what I needed and wanted! In summer 2006, God impressed on my heart about being just that - a prayer warrior. I had purchased the Bound4Life handbook, and in it was described why they do what they do. (To learn more, see the Bound4Life website.) God laid on my heart the burden for prayer, and I went to the library that week to find a book on the subject. I highly recommend "With Christ in the School of Prayer" by Andrew Murray. It is fantastic! (Be sure to read the old version and not the update version - it loses much of its meaningful, rich English!)

After the morning message, I decided to pray to God for something very specific. I needed $100 to get my website up and running full throttle. I asked God that, if photography was something He wanted me to continue pursuing, that I need $100 for the website, and that it had to be very clear that was what I was supposed to spend it on.

The next day, I received a deposit for my January bride - for the amount of $200! I was so excited. Nathan said that God clearly said "yes" with an exclamation point. He is so good to allow me to pray to Him, but even more so to desire me to pray to Him. What an incredible God we serve.

The website is now up, and I couldn't be more excited to see my new business finally taking wing. You can find it at http://www.ambermichellephotography.com/.


Monday, July 11, 2011

SOOOOooo Busy!

Though I do it all from my computer, I feel as though I'm constantly running around to update my website, my photoblog, my facebook pages, etc! I'm really enjoying my new business, and I couldn't have more fun. Even the "tiring" activities of photoediting and organizing are so much fun when it is something you love.

After much prayer, I joined the church choir again. I've been on choir leave at college for years because of a vocal injury I got while on the travelling ensemble group. However, I believe that it is something that God wants me to try. Especially since my burden is to sing for Him, and I cannot sing in church (such as a solo) unless I am in the choir. The first practice was very dissapointing - after singing through the first song, I knew I was done for the night. :( Thankfully, I recovered much faster than I normally do, and even had my voice back in about an hour. I wish I could have finished my vocal training with Mr. Gibbs! I was learning so much, even though we had mostly done exercises to determine my major vocal hurdles. I pray that the Lord will give me wisdom to sing correctly so as not to injure my voice further. But being in choir is the only way I can sing in church, which is something I know that the Lord wants me to do. I know that if He calls me to do it, He will enable me to do it. I just have to be wise!

Well, I'm off to toy with my new website. Ciao!

Thursday, April 28, 2011


Lately I've been doing a lot of art, and I'm currently working on designing the book cover for my husband's anthology. It should be released within a month or two, so I've got my work cut out for me! I'll be drawing, inking, painting, and designing full throttle, so the updates will be even slower than they usually are. (Which is pretty slow, I realize...)

Be sure to stay tuned for his book release!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Stupid in America

My teacher in my Masters History of American Education class was good enough to share this documentary with us. I brought it for you - it is an eye-opener!