Thursday, February 28, 2013

Protective Style Lookbook || Easy Glamorous Style on Twists

By popular demand, this is a series showcasing various protective hair styles.  Protective styling does not have to be boring. :o)

Model: Ambrosia

Style description: Twists in side bun with side-swept bang.

Difficulty level: 2/5

Healthy Recipes || Two Different But Delicious Blueberry Smoothies

What is so great about blueberries? Well, they have a high content of antioxidants, which are known to stabilize free radicals and reduce oxidative stress.  Free radicals have been associated with certain diseases.


This smoothie is a rich source of potassium (banana), antioxidants (blueberries, strawberries, and mango), protein (almond milk), and calcium (almond milk).

1/2 medium banana, peeled and cut into chunks
1/4 cup frozen blueberries
1/4 cup frozen strawberries
1/4 cup chopped fresh mango
2 cups chilled unsweetened vanilla-flavored almond milk

In a blender, add the banana chunks, blueberries, strawberries, and mango. Blend until combined, about 30 seconds. Serve in chilled glasses with straws.


This smoothie is a rich source of antioxidants (blueberries), protein (yogurt), and calcium (yogurt).

1 cup blueberries
1 cup plain yogurt or 1 cup vanilla yogurt
1 1/2 tablespoons honey (or agave nectar)
3/4 cup ice cube

Combine all ingredients in a blender. Blend at high speed until smooth. Serve! 

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Northstar Cafe's Veggie Burger All Grown Up

About a year ago I was in Columbus, Ohio for the weekend and I was fortunate enough to eat at a restaurant called Northstar Cafe. It happened to be right at the end of our friends' street, and the couple knew we preferred Vegan fare, so they suggested we go there. Well, it was one of my favorite and memorable Veganish restaurant meals by far.

My daughter Sophia and I shared two things, a veggie burger and a tofu, rice and veggie bowl with peanut sauce. We were in love with both.

Fast forward to about two weeks ago when my friend Fancy Nancy began telling me how she was on a quest to recreate the Northstar Veggie Burger at home and how she had met with great success. Not that her burger tasted exactly like Northstar's, but that her kids were gobbling them up.

I figured I needed to get in on the fun. So I started to do some Internet research. The first thing I came upon was a few bloggers who heroically tried to recreate the Northstar Veggie Burger recipe out of thin air, and came up with what they said was a really delicious veggie burger. But that was all before the actual Northstar Veggie Burger recipe was published in a local newspaper, and I was lucky enough to have the benefit of starting with that. [Edited later to add: Whoops! I misunderstood the Columbus Dispatch article. This is NOT the actual recipe from Northstar Cafe, just a recipe for a beet burger given to the author by a friend. My apologies for any confusion that this may have caused.]

Now, the beet burger recipe in the Columbus Dispatch has oil and eggs and breadcrumbs in it. I wondered what would happen if I just left that stuff out.

Guess what? It worked.

Apparently Isa Chandra Moskowitz had the same idea, a year before I did. This was pointed out to me on Facebook by an HGK fan who was all over the situation after I posted a picture of how much this veggie burger actually resembles a real hamburger. Isa even gave her Veganized beet burger a great name, the "Quarter Pounder Beet Burger." Man that chick is a genius.

Beet Lentil Rice Burgers
makes 8-10 burgers

print me!

1 1/3 cups cooked beets (1 package Trader Joe's cooked beets, you could also use shredded raw beets)
2 1/2 cups cooked brown or green lentils (1 package Trader Joe's cooked lentils)
2 1/2 cups cooked brown rice (about 1.5 bags of Trader Joe's frozen brown rice)
1/4 tsp ground pepper
1 tsp salt
2 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp ground fennel
2 tsp dijon mustard
1 tsp onion powder, or 3 Tbsp minced onions
1/2 tsp garlic powder, or 2 garlic cloves, minced

In a food processor fitted with the "s" blade, place cooked (or raw) beets. Pulse beets until they are roughly chopped.

Add lentils and rice. Pulse until the mixture resembles ground meat.

Transfer beet, lentil, rice mixture to a large bowl. Add pepper, salt, thyme, fennel, mustard, onion powder (or onion) and garlic powder (or garlic). Mix, with your hands if you are willing, until all ingredients are well incorporated. Refrigerate for one hour or longer.

Form into burger sized patties.

Heat a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Cook until a crust develops and burger is heated through, turning once during cooking, about 12 minutes total. The burgers were sticking to my nonstick skillet, so I did have to use some canola oil spray on the pan before cooking my burgers, but different pans will yield a different result.

Serve on toasted Ezekial buns with lettuce, tomato, pickle, mustard and sugar free ketchup, or other condiments of your choice.

Uncooked burgers keep well in the refrigerator for four days. Cook right before serving.

Before the char.

After the char. Looks like beef to me!

I'm telling you, the pickle slices make all the difference. This is a crave worthy veggie burger!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

When The Satin Bonnet (or Scarf) Is Not Enough

You have heard it before ... "Make sure you sleep with a satin scarf or bonnet to protect your hair while you sleep."  Well, have you ever awaken in the morning with the scarf or bonnet on the other side of the bed or with the moisture sucked out of your hair in spite of wearing one?  If so, you are not alone.

So, just how can you protect your strands and retain moisture at night when the satin scarf or bonnet is not enough?  Here are a few ideas:

1. For added protection, sleep on a satin pillowcase.  If your scarf or bonnet happens to slip off at night, your satin pillowcase will become the next line of protection against dry, frizzy, snagged hair.  Even if your scarf or bonnet stays on at night, sleeping on a satin pillowcase on top of that can do wonders for retaining moisture in your hair at night.

2. Purchase a better quality satin scarf or adjustable bonnet.  Not all satin scarves and bonnets are created equal.  Some are constructed from very thin and poor quality fabrics and threads.  What is considered a good quality satin? Well, first let me explain that the word "satin" is used to describe the type of weave.  There are "satin" polyesters and "satin" silks, for example.  Among the polyesters, "charmeuse satin" (or, sometimes called "satin charmeuse") is a smoother, better quality weave for the hair.  Purchasing a "charmeuse satin" scarf or bonnet is a good investment.  Also, look for adjustable bonnets (as opposed to purely elastic ones) for better stay at night.

3. Better yet, get a silk scarf or silk adjustable bonnet.  If you can afford to do so, silk is a much better material for the hair than polyester.  When searching for silk scarves or bonnets, look for those that say "charmeuse satin" (or, sometimes called "satin charmeuse").  This type of weave is the most luxurious of all the weaves.  Again, look for adjustable bonnets (as opposed to purely elastic ones) for better stay at night.

4. If you suffer from dry hair, turn on the humidifier.  The humidifier can provide extra vapor in the air thus creating a moisturizing environment for your hair while you sleep.

Skin Care || Mederma vs. Vaseline for Scar Healing

If you have ever searched high and low for a cream that improves the appearance of scars, then you are probably familiar with Mederma, which is expensive.  Well, you will be happy (or upset after having spent that much money) to know that it is no more effective than petroleum jelly at scar healing.  More importantly, keeping the "wound moist and covered[1]" via petroleum jelly or another topical treatment will minimize scarring period.

So before you shell out that money for Mederma, turn to your good old Vaseline to minimize the appearance of scars.


Monday, February 25, 2013

Oven Baked Plantains with Coconut Dipping Sauce, Tommy Bahama Style

I have always loved those greasy, fried plantains that you get in a Caribbean restaurant. But not because of the grease. The firm texture, the slight banana like sweetness, the crispy edges; kind of like a sweet french fry. I can only imagine the calorie bomb that they are, having never looked it up, thus I resolved to only eat them on rare occasion.

Well, one of those rare occasions came this past December when my sisters-in-law and I went on a little shopping spree and ended up at the Tommy Bahama restaurant in Naples, Florida. They serve their fried plantains with a creamy, sweet dipping sauce that complements the plantains beautifully.
Read more �

Saturday, February 23, 2013

New Reactions List AND "Oldies, But Goodies"

Hey all!  I recently edited the reactions list below each post.  If you noticed, before I used to have a "next" box.  Now I have a "more posts like this" box.  This is so I get a better feel for what you all would like to see more of on this blog.  There will almost always be a post that one person does not like, but I am more interested in hearing about those that people do like.  Be sure to make use of the reactions list or the comments section to voice your opinions!

1. Underrated || Lanolin for Hair
2. Mixology || Slippery Elm Leave-In
3. Skin Care || Combatting Dry Skin This Winter
4. Healthy Recipes || My Very Berry Smoothie
5. Healthy Hair Feature || Shae (Natural)

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Hair Diary || From "Stunted" to Growth

For a long period of time (August 2010 through February 2012), my front hair was stunted.  It appeared as if it wasn't growing (though we all know hair is growing) or as if it had reached its terminal length. I just assumed that my years of relaxing had done a number on my follicles in that region.  After all, my front hair hardly ever grew past 6 inches while wearing a relaxer (except in my childhood years).

Note how my front hair did not retain length from February 2011 to February 2012.
(It actually had not retained length since August 2010, which is not pictured here.)
Note the length retention in February 2013 after cutting ~1-2 inches several months before to create bangs.

So, annoyed by my seemingly stunted growth, I decided to cut some bangs and forget about my growth in that region.  Then during my wash-n-go experiment a few weeks ago, as I was finger detangling in the shower, I noticed how far my bangs stretched.  No more "stunted", they had finally retained some length in the past year!  It made a lot of sense 1) considering Jc's article on "Trimming for Longer Hair" on The Natural Haven combined with me 2) practicing gentler detangling in that area. (I'm usually impatient by the time I get to the front of my hair for detangling.) So those two methods helped my bangs retain some length.  Do check out Jc's article for a thorough explanation of how trimming helps!  I think I might do another cut (about 1 inch) of the bangs.

Now for some random hair shots:

One week after flat iron.  Wore the straight hair for ~3 weeks.
Majority of the time, it was in jumbo twists and bunned.

February length check. ~3 weeks after flat iron.
For the
next ~3 weeks I will wear wash-n-gos using Cyntriarf's method again.

Mixology || Recipe for Possible Regrowth of Edges

Are you trying to re-grow your edges?  The following mixture proved effective in a study of alopecia areata.  Though the conclusion of that study does not automatically translate into regrowth of edges that suffered via other means (e.g., traction alopecia), it may not hurt to see if this mixture works for you.

DISCLAIMER: Essential oils are very potent. Please consult your doctor before using them, especially if you are pregnant, breast feeding, or have a medical condition. 

Ingredients (and portions from the journal):
3 mL of jojoba oil
20 mL of grapeseed oil
2 drops of thyme essential oil
3 drops of lavender essential oil
3 drops of rosemary essential oil
2 drops of cedarwood essential oil

Mix all the essential oils into your carrier oils (jojoba and grapeseed) and store in a container.  Use mixture to massage your edges for 2 minutes before going to bed.  Then wrap your edges with a warm towel to aid in the absorption of the oils. Do this nightly for several months.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Menu announced for Feb. 27 Healthy World Cafe lunch!

(Photo courtesy of Flickr user Clay Irving)

Hope everyone is hungry -- here's what Healthy World Cafe has planned for lunch from 11:30 to 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 27:
  • Chicken and rice soup
  • Carrot and ginger soup
  • Vegetable and cheese quiche or strata
  • Carrot and cabbage slaw
  • Twice-baked potato topped with corn beef hash
  • French dip sandwich
  • Dried fruit cookies
Of course, our menu is always based on whatever is available from our farmer friends, so stay tuned for updates!

At Healthy World Cafe, we always feature our "eat what you want, pay how you can" philosophy.  The ability to pay should never be a barrier to accessing delicious, unprocessed, healthy food.  Take out orders are available by emailing your selections (by 10 a.m. Feb. 27) to healthyworldcafe(at)gmail(dot)com.

Here's a look at volunteer opportunities for this February lunch and other upcoming events:

February's lunch:
-- 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 25 -- Food prep at First Moravian Church
-- 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 26 -- Food prep at First Moravian Church
-- 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 27 -- Food prep and serving at FMC

Private, catered event in March:
-- 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 12 -- Food prep for a private catered event. Meet at FMC.
-- 6 to 10 p.m. Wednesday, March 13 -- Food prep at YorKitchen in Central Market York.
-- 3 to 10:30 p.m. Thursday, March 14 -- Food prep and serving for a private catered event in Central Market York. Meet at YorKitchen. We'll split into shifts for this day: 3 to 7 p.m. and 6:30 to 10:30. Can't make a full shift? Email sarah.e.chain(at)gmail(dot)com and let us know when to expect you.

Find a full list of upcoming events through May at our calendar page.

Sign up for volunteer hours through VolunteerSpot.

Questions? Email us at healthyworldcafe(at)gmail(dot)com.

"Soul" Food Mondays ... Er, A Day Late || Gratitude

"Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life.  It turns what we have into enough, and more.  It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity.  It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.  Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow." ~ MELODY BEATTIE

Move throughout each day with gratitude.

Protective Style Lookbook || Three Crowns One Queen

By popular demand, this is a series showcasing various protective hair styles.  Protective styling does not have to be boring. :o)

Model: Laila

Style description: Three different head wrap looks. 

Difficulty level: 3/5

Monday, February 18, 2013

This Cookbook is a Nutriarian's Dream

As a blogger, I am blessed with lots of opportunities to review products and books that I receive for free.

This cookbook was not one of those. (Not that there's anything wrong with those!)

My cookbook shelf is pretty darned full these days, but I purchased this new cookbook anyway as soon as it was released. I just couldn't resist. With a name like "Wild About Greens" how can anyone reading HGK not own a copy of this essential work?

And now that I've had some time to test out some of Nava Atlas' recipes from Wild About Greens, I feel that I need to tell you that this book is becoming a staple in my kitchen.

Read more �

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Health 101: Cellulite

By Stephanie of Infinite Life Fitness

One of the most asked questions I get from clients that are older females is��How do I get rid of my cellulite!?!?�

�The answer�. You Can�t�

Yes, that is right ladies; you are stuck with the curse of having lumps in your legs (and other possible areas). To be honest�EVERYONE has it! It may be just a little�or it may be a whole lot more. Some women express it way more than others�.and some you cannot see it at all�but it is there!

Cellulite is fat that is trapped right under the skin surface. The fat clumps up in some areas and that causes the �dimples� you see in your thighs or hips. Some women (and yes men get it as well) are genetically prone to getting more than others.

With healthy eating and exercise, it will help you REDUCE the appearance of cellulite. It will not fully go away! But it will not look as bad or as visible with a consistent strength training and cardio routine. 

So yes, that means save your money on the dimple creams and laser surgeries. They have been proven to help reduce the sight of cellulite TEMPORARILY! But, guess what�.yes it will come back! For the best results�.and the long lasting results�.start working out! And of course adopt a healthy diet! Once you start to lose that extra body fat, the muscle under the skin and fat will start to tighten and sculpt your body.

This is Stephanie from Infinite Life Fitness. Please feel free to stop by my blog for more health and fitness related topics!

Natural Remedy || Lemon Juice for Constipation and Diarrhea

NOTE:  This may NOT work for constipation or diarrhea caused by anything other than over-eating fast food and junk food.  Please consult your doctor in cases outside of these.

Once in a while, I will indulge in a greasy burger and fries or some junk food, and because my body is not used to these meals, constipation and (sometimes) diarrhea will be right around the corner.  (Sorry if this is TMI.) 

Many of you may already know about the following concoction, but I will share my experience with it anyway.  When it comes to constipation and diarrhea, drinking lemon juice mixed with warm water works like a charm for me!  Though I couldn't find any medical explanation on the internet, there are tons of people who also swear by this natural remedy.  If I had to take an educated guess, I would assume that the acidity of the lemon helps with digestion. I really don't know as I am not a doctor, but here is the simple recipe I use:

1 part lemon juice (from a fresh lemon)
1 part warm water

Mix the ingredients and drink once to three times a day.  If your constipation does not go away (or decrease) in two days, then please consult your doctor.

This works for me.  Hopefully it will work for you! 

(Also, increase your water and fiber intake to help further combat constipation.)

Monday, February 11, 2013

Hair Diary || Final Thoughts on Wash-n-Go Experience

So a few weeks ago, I decided to experiment with Cynthiarf's method and wear my first wash-n-go in years!  Well, after having done it for about two weeks, I can finally share my thoughts on the experience:

How did it go?  I loved it and plan to incorporate it more regularly into my regimen this year.  The key to minimizing knots and tangles while wearing the wash-n-go is to finger comb and remove the shed hair daily and thoroughly.  I was able to go one to two days between wash-n-gos probably because I used a lot of gel for definition and hold.  Otherwise, I think I would've been asking for trouble by stretching the look.  

Did I notice increased knots and tangling?  To my surprise, not really except for "back there".  My back hair did tangle a little because, unlike the rest of my hair, it is very fine.  (Hence, if you have long, fine Type 4 strands, I personally would recommend that you be cautious when trying this method.)  Also, it is very important to use a conditioner to wash as opposed to a shampoo, which will contribute to tangling and matting of the loose hair.  However, since I believe in shampoos for cleansing, I did use one weekly followed by conditioner.  Lastly, over time my hair became easier to finger comb and softer.  I believe Cynthiarf alludes to why (as well as why this method works for our hair in general) in this comment to her youtube video.

For those who are interested in trying her method, here is the link to her video tutorial.  Also, feel free to ask me any questions in the comments section below!  Now for a few more wash-n-go photos. :o)

Wet.  No gel.  Day one.
Wet. Gel. Week two.
Dry.  Gel.  Week one.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Reader's Question: Weaves/Sew-ins to Stretch Relaxers

For questions, use the "Contact Me" tab OR leave a comment below!

Reader's Question:
In order to stretch relaxers, is it okay that I have weave with braids in it or a sew in 2-3 weeks after a relaxer?

My Answer:

I personally would not recommend getting a weave/sew-in within two weeks after a relaxer.
 Three weeks would be a much safer amount of time to wait, in my opinion.  Four weeks or more would be even better.  I say this because the scalp needs to "recover" (for lack of a better word) after a fresh relaxer.  Weaves/sew-ins can apply tension to the scalp, and installing one within two weeks can lead to hair loss.

After three to four weeks, weaves/sew-ins that are installed and maintained properly can be a good way to stretch relaxers.  Other safer options are braid-outs, cornrow-outs, twist-outs (with perm-rodded ends), ponytail roller sets, and straw sets.  Check out this earlier post on styles that blend the new growth with your relaxed ends.

I hope this answers your question!

Oldies, But Goodies

1. Valentine's Day Treats ... Lower in Fat But Still So YUMMY!
2. Healthy Hair Feature: Chime/HairCrush
3. Sleep is Essential for Hair Health
4. Protein Moisture Balance Solved
5. Chocolate Conditioner Recipes!

Superbowl Party Recap, Part II. The No-oil, Tahini Free Hummus Diaries.

I've never been a fan of the store bought no-oil, tahini free hummuses. I confess that I have only tried a few, and not the Engine 2 brand yet (it has sesame seeds in it, so I'm not sure if it would be considered oil-free anyway).

But what I have tried left me thinking that I would rather not eat hummus. What a bummer, because I love hummus! When I tried making tahini-free hummus myself (that one time) I was no more impressed with my own results and I gave up on it entirely for many years.

Fast forward to when I wrote my first post about our plans for this year's Plant-strong Superbowl Party. I received a lot of reader suggestions about how to make the perfect oil-free hummus. Thank you D'Ann and Sara! Here's a summary of the suggestions, including my own thoughts based on the experiment:

Read more �

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Join Healthy World Cafe for lunch Feb. 27

Drum roll, please... Healthy World Cafe will be open for lunch Feb. 27!

(Photo courtesy of Flickr user J E Theriot)
Join us from 11:30 a.m.  to 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 27 at First Moravian Church, 39 N. Duke St., in downtown York. We'll be featuring locally grown produce in soups, salads and warm entrees -- check back soon for a full menu!

At Healthy World Cafe, we always feature our "eat what you want, pay how you can" philosophy.  The ability to pay should never be a barrier to accessing delicious, unprocessed, healthy food.  Take out orders are available by emailing your selections (by 10 a.m. Feb. 27) to healthyworldcafe(at)gmail(dot)com.

To receive periodic updates from Healthy World Cafe, send your email address to us at the email address listed above.  If you'd like to volunteer with Healthy World Cafe for food preparations 6:30 to 9 p.m. Feb. 25 and Feb. 26 or for prep and serving 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Nov. 28, click on the box above and to the right, "Volunteer Spot."

We split our food prep into two nights -- Monday and Tuesday -- to move away from the long hours volunteers were spending in the kitchen on Tuesday night. So whether you're available for Monday, Tuesday, or both, please join us!

We'll also have our FABULOUS Healthy World Cafe T-shirts for sale at lunch -- the same ones our volunteers wear. Make a statement around town with your new HWC gear!

Here are some other upcoming dates to keep in mind as well:
  • 6:30 to 9 p.m. March 12 and March 13, First Moravian. Prep for a private catered event.
  • 5 to 10:30 p.m. March 14, Central Market's YorKitchen. Prep and serving for a private catered event.
  • 6:30 to 9 p.m. April 18 and April 19, First Moravian. Prep for Go Green in the City.
  • 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 20, Central Market's YorKitchen / Beaver Street. Prep and serving for Go Green in the City.
Celebrate all that is local and delicious -- and with a great community of supporters! Hope to see you soon.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Beautiful Heart-Shaped Hair for Valentine's Day || Easy Curly Twist Out Tutorial

This video includes three versions of this look on three different lengths and textures of hair.  Be sure to watch all the way until the end.  I might just try this look! :o)

Style description: Wet twists with flexi rods on the ends.  The end result is a heart-shaped twist-out with curly ends.  Can be done on short, medium, or long hair.  (See the shorter versions near the end of the video.)

Difficulty level: 2/5

The Basics to CHANGING a Hair Care Regimen || Part II

Last month, I discussed Part I of this short series.  Here is the second and final part:

Understand the pros and cons of what is it you want to incorporate into your regimen.  Do you want to incorporate heat usage?  Do want to use conditioners containing silicones?  Then make certain you research the pros and cons of such practices.  Without understanding all aspects of what it is you want to incorporate into your regimen, such adjustments can adversely surprise you ... and your hair.

Start with one adjustment.  Making multiple changes to your regimen at once can make it difficult to identify the culprit if setbacks happen.  This step especially applies to newbies in their hair care journey.

Try your new product more than once and in various ways.  Products that fail to work the first time or via one method make work the second or third time and via another method.  I have had this experience with such products as coconut oil, shea butter, and certain conditioners.  While coconut oil fails to moisturize or seal my hair after a fresh wash, it is actually moisturizing when I use it as a pre-poo or mixed with shea butter as a sealant.  While shea butter alone does nothing for my hair, it works very well when mixed with oils and even aloe vera gel.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Superbowl Party Recap, Part I. Kale and Poblano Stuffed Cornbread Muffins. Chili.

Is anyone else inspired by The Barefoot Contessa?

Like all sport, there are winners and there are losers. Our Plant-strong Superbowl party mirrored the game, with a few big winners and some big time losers.

First, one of the big winners of the night: Kale and Poblano Stuffed Cornbread Muffins. My inspiration came when I saw this recipe on Pinterest and the rest is history. Feel free to make substitutions to your heart's desire, or whatever you happen to want to use up in your refrigerator. I don't think you can mess them up. The secret is in know what ingredients you need to cook before putting them in the batter (stuff like onions and garlic and kale), and which ones to just chop and leave "raw" (things like scallions and corn).
Read more �

Friday, February 1, 2013

Hair Diary || 5-Year Nappiversary!

I big chopped exactly five years ago today after a ten-month transition.  I will never regret going natural because my hair has never been healthier or longer.  Here are photos of my hair from these past couple of weeks.

Stay tuned for my wash-n-go conclusion in an upcoming post ...

Jan/Feb 2013: Wash-n-go with TONS of gel for hang (on left).  Flat ironed then braided (on right).

Jan 2013: Wash-n-go followed by gel galore.
Feb 1, 2013: Braided for a braid-out.  2013 is about having fun with my length!

February 2008.  The big chop.  (Shrunken wet fro.)